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A coherent trio of, distance and size based, measures for nomic and actual truthlikeness

Kuipers, Theo A.F. (2022) A coherent trio of, distance and size based, measures for nomic and actual truthlikeness. [Preprint]

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Abstract

So far, the most prominent measure for actual truthlikeness, i.e. the likeness of a theory to the actual truth, is Ilkka Niiniluoto’s minsum definition, which is purely based on distances. A competing definition is the average distance measure proposed by Pavel Tichy and Graham Oddie. We will define three related, distance and size based, measures for actual truthlikeness and compare them with the two well-known options. However, we will start, Section 2, from a trio of such measures for nomic truthlikeness. The nomic truth, or the true theory, here refers to what is nomically, e.g. physically, possible. In a nomic (and factual) context there are two basic kinds of theories, viz. either based on an exclusion claim or on an inclusion claim. Two-sided theories combine these claims, with the maximal claim as extreme special case. We will base truthlikeness measures for exclusion, inclusion, two-sided, and hence maximal, nomic theories on two similarity measures, one in terms of distances between conceptual possibilities and the other in terms of sizes of sets of such possibilities. In Section 3 we will treat actual truthlikeness as extreme special case of nomic truthlikeness, viz. assuming that there is just one nomic possibility, the actual one. Next we will compare the resulting measures mutually and with the above mentioned measures of Niiniluoto and Tichy & Oddie. Finally, in Section 4, we will sum up the results and explore five questions for further research.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kuipers, Theo A.F.T.A.F.Kuipers@rug.nl0000-0002-8612-3639
Keywords: Actual truthlikeness; nomic truthlikeness; similarity measures; truthlikeness measures; distance to the truth; relative sizes; minsum definition of truthlikeness; average definition of truthlikeness; Niiniluoto; Oddie; Tichy.
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Theo Kuipers
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2022 18:48
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 18:48
Item ID: 21412
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21412

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