A priori thesis, Achinstein, Confirmation, Evidence, Working assumptions
This paper responds to Achinstein's criticism of the thesis that the only empirical fact that can affect the truth of an objective evidence claim such as 'e is evidence for h' (or 'e confirms h to degree r') is the truth of e. It shows that cases involving evidential flaws, which form the basis for Achinstein's objections to the thesis, can satisfactorily be accounted for by appeal to changes in background information and working assumptions. The paper also argues that the a priori and empirical accounts of evidence are on a par when we consider scientific practice, but that a study of artificial intelligence might serve to differentiate them.
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The same paper is presented at the 2011 Annual Conference of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science, Manchester, United Kingdom, 7-8 July 2011.
Rowbottom, D. P. (2012). Empirical evidence claims are a priori. Synthese, 190(14), 2821-2834. doi: 10.1007/s11229-012-0087-x