Title

Intersubjective corroboration

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A

Publication Date

3-1-2008

Volume

39

Issue

1

First Page

124

Last Page

132

Keywords

Corroboration, Confirmation, Bayesianism, Intersubjective probability, Karl Popper, Formal epistemology

Abstract

How are we to understand the use of probability in corroboration functions? Popper says logically, but does not show we could have access to, or even calculate, probability values in a logical sense. This makes the logical interpretation untenable, as Ramsey and van Fraassen have argued.

If corroboration functions only make sense when the probabilities employed therein are subjective, however, then what counts as impressive evidence for a theory might be a matter of convention, or even whim. So isn’t so-called ‘corroboration’ just a matter of psychology?

In this paper, I argue that we can go some way towards addressing this objection by adopting an intersubjective interpretation, of the form advocated by Gillies, with respect to corroboration. I show why intersubjective probabilities are preferable to subjective ones when it comes to decision making in science: why group decisions are liable to be superior to individual ones, given a number of plausible conditions. I then argue that intersubjective corroboration is preferable to intersubjective confirmation of a Bayesian variety, because there is greater opportunity for principled agreement concerning the factors involved in the former.

DOI

10.1016/j.shpsa.2007.11.010

Print ISSN

00393681

E-ISSN

18792510

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Rowbottom, D. P. (2008). Intersubjective corroboration. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 39(1), 124-132. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2007.11.010