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Information 2011, 2(4), 635-650; doi:10.3390/info2040635

Constructive Verification, Empirical Induction, and Falibilist Deduction: A Threefold Contrast

Department of Applied Mathematics, Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of São Paulo, Rua do Matão 1010, Cidade Universitária, 05508-090, São Paulo, Brazil
Received: 9 August 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 31 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Information Theory and Methodology)
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Abstract

This article explores some open questions related to the problem of verification of theories in the context of empirical sciences by contrasting three epistemological frameworks. Each of these epistemological frameworks is based on a corresponding central metaphor, namely: (a) Neo-empiricism and the gambling metaphor; (b) Popperian falsificationism and the scientific tribunal metaphor; (c) Cognitive constructivism and the object as eigen-solution metaphor. Each of one of these epistemological frameworks has also historically co-evolved with a certain statistical theory and method for testing scientific hypotheses, respectively: (a) Decision theoretic Bayesian statistics and Bayes factors; (b) Frequentist statistics and p-values; (c) Constructive Bayesian statistics and e-values. This article examines with special care the Zero Probability Paradox (ZPP), related to the verification of sharp or precise hypotheses. Finally, this article makes some remarks on Lakatos’ view of mathematics as a quasi-empirical science.
Keywords: Bayesian statistics; cognitive constructivism; eigen-solutions; Imre Lakatos; neo-empiricism; Popperian falsificationism; sharp hypotheses; zero probability paradox Bayesian statistics; cognitive constructivism; eigen-solutions; Imre Lakatos; neo-empiricism; Popperian falsificationism; sharp hypotheses; zero probability paradox
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stern, J.M. Constructive Verification, Empirical Induction, and Falibilist Deduction: A Threefold Contrast. Information 2011, 2, 635-650.

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