IMT School For Advanced Studies Lucca
  •  2
    A partial consequence account of truthlikeness
    Synthese 197 (4): 1627-1646. 2020.
    Popper’s original definition of truthlikeness relied on a central insight: that truthlikeness combines truth and information, in the sense that a proposition is closer to the truth the more true consequences and the less false consequences it entails. As intuitively compelling as this definition may be, it is untenable, as proved long ago; still, one can arguably rely on Popper’s intuition to provide an adequate account of truthlikeness. To this aim, we mobilize some classical work on partial en…Read more
  •  48
    Searching for information is critical in many situations. In medicine, for instance, careful choice of a diagnostic test can help narrow down the range of plausible diseases that the patient might have. In a probabilistic framework, test selection is often modeled by assuming that people’s goal is to reduce uncertainty about possible states of the world. In cognitive science, psychology, and medical decision making, Shannon entropy is the most prominent and most widely used model to formalize pr…Read more
  •  46
    Why Adding Truths Is Not Enough: A Reply to Mizrahi on Progress as Approximation to the Truth
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (2): 129-135. 2019.
    ABSTRACTIn a recent paper in this journal, entitled ‘Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth is Not Enough’, Moti Mizrahi argues that the view of progress as approximation to the truth or increasing verisimilitude is plainly false. The key premise of his argument is that on such a view of progress, in order to get closer to the truth one only needs to arbitrarily add a true disjunct to a hypothesis or theory. Since quite clearly scientific progress is not a matter of adding true disjunc…Read more
  •  23
    We explore the grammar of Bayesian confirmation by focusing on some likelihood principles, including the Weak Law of Likelihood. We show that none of the likelihood principles proposed so far is satisfied by all incremental measures of confirmation, and we argue that some of these measures indeed obey new, prima facie strange, antilikelihood principles. To prove this, we introduce a new measure that violates the Weak Law of Likelihood while satisfying a strong antilikelihood condition. We conclu…Read more
  •  17
    Approaching Truth in Conceptual Spaces
    Erkenntnis 1-16. forthcoming.
    Knowledge representation is a central issue in a number of areas, but few attempts are usually made to bridge different approaches accross different fields. As a contribution in this direction, in this paper I focus on one such approach, the theory of conceptual spaces developed within cognitive science, and explore its potential applications in the fields of philosophy of science and formal epistemology. My case-study is provided by the theory of truthlikeness, construed as closeness to “the wh…Read more
  •  23
    Popper’s original definition of truthlikeness relied on a central insight: that truthlikeness combines truth and information, in the sense that a proposition is closer to the truth the more true consequences and the less false consequences it entails. As intuitively compelling as this definition may be, it is untenable, as proved long ago; still, one can arguably rely on Popper’s intuition to provide an adequate account of truthlikeness. To this aim, we mobilize some classical work on partial en…Read more
  •  180
    In this paper we provide a compact presentation of the verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress (VS, for short) and defend it against the sustained attack recently mounted by Alexander Bird (2007). Advocated by such authors as Ilkka Niiniluoto and Theo Kuipers, VS is the view that progress can be explained in terms of the increasing verisimilitude (or, equivalently, truthlikeness, or approximation to the truth) of scientific theories. According to Bird, VS overlooks the central issue…Read more
  •  37
    After the demise of logical empiricism in the late fifties of the past century, philosophy of science entered a sort of Kuhnian revolutionary phase. Both its central problems and the methods used to address them underwent a profound change; under the pressure of the “new” philosophy of science—and of the various historical, sociological, cultural, or feminist approaches—the way of doing philosophy championed by Carnap and Popper was progressively abandoned by many scholars interested in the stud…Read more
  •  204
    Truth approximation via abductive belief change
    Logic Journal of the IGPL 21 (6): 999-1016. 2013.
    We investigate the logical and conceptual connections between abductive reasoning construed as a process of belief change, on the one hand, and truth approximation, construed as increasing (estimated) verisimilitude, on the other. We introduce the notion of ‘(verisimilitude-guided) abductive belief change’ and discuss under what conditions abductively changing our theories or beliefs does lead them closer to the truth, and hence tracks truth approximation conceived as the main aim of inquiry…Read more
  •  650
    Giochi, dilemmi sociali e scelte collettive
    In Anthony de Jasay (ed.), Scelta, Contratto, Consenso, Rubbettino/leonardo Facco. pp. 13--56. 2008.
    This is the introductory essay to the Italian translation of Anthony de Jasay's "Choice, contract, and consent. A restatement of liberalism".
  •  70
    Probability, Approximate Truth, and Truthlikeness: More Ways out of the Preface Paradox
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2): 209-225. 2017.
    The so-called Preface Paradox seems to show that one can rationally believe two logically incompatible propositions. We address this puzzle, relying on the notions of truthlikeness and approximate truth as studied within the post-Popperian research programme on verisimilitude. In particular, we show that adequately combining probability, approximate truth, and truthlikeness leads to an explanation of how rational belief is possible in the face of the Preface Paradox. We argue that our account is…Read more
  •  754
    Starting from the sixties of the past century theory change has become a main concern of philosophy of science. Two of the best known formal accounts of theory change are the post-Popperian theories of verisimilitude (PPV for short) and the AGM theory of belief change (AGM for short). In this paper, we will investigate the conceptual relations between PPV and AGM and, in particular, we will ask whether the AGM rules for theory change are effective means for approaching the truth, i.e., for achi…Read more
  •  72
    Truth may not explain predictive success, but truthlikeness does
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4): 590-593. 2013.
    In a recent paper entitled “Truth does not explain predictive success” , Carsten Held argues that the so-called “No-Miracles Argument” for scientific realism is easily refuted when the consequences of the underdetermination of theories by the evidence are taken into account. We contend that the No-Miracles Argument, when it is deployed within the context of sophisticated versions of realism, based on the notion of truthlikeness , survives Held’s criticism unscathed
  •  15
    Guest Editor's Preface
    Etica E Politica 15 (2): 7-13. 2013.
    Preface to a special section on "Cooperation in nature, science, and society"
  •  112
    Strongly semantic information and verisimilitude
    Etica and Politica / Ethics and Politics (2): 159-179. 2011.
    In The Philosophy of Information, Luciano Floridi presents a theory of “strongly semantic information”, based on the idea that “information encapsulates truth” (the so-called “veridicality thesis”). Starting with Popper, philosophers of science have developed different explications of the notion of verisimilitude or truthlikeness, construed as a combination of truth and information. Thus, the theory of strongly semantic information and the theory of verisimilitude are intimately tied. Yet, with …Read more
  •  13
    Carnapian truthlikeness
    Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (4): 542-556. 2016.
    Theories of truthlikeness (or verisimilitude) are currently being classified according to two independent distinctions: that between ‘content’ and ‘likeness’ accounts, and that between ‘conjunctive’ and ‘disjunctive’ ones. In this article, I present and discuss a new definition of truthlikeness, which employs Carnap’s notion of the content elements entailed by a theory or proposition, and is then labelled ‘Carnapian’. After studying in detail the properties and shortcomings of this definition, I…Read more
  •  142
    Verisimilitude and strongly semantic information
    Etica E Politica 13 (2): 159-179. 2011.
    In The Philosophy of Information, Luciano Floridi presents a theory of “strongly semantic information”, based on the idea that “information encapsulates truth” . Starting with Popper, philosophers of science have developed different explications of the notion of verisimilitude or truthlikeness, construed as a combination of truth and information. Thus, the theory of strongly semantic information and the theory of verisimilitude are intimately tied. Yet, with few exceptions, this link has virtual…Read more
  •  216
    Hayek in the lab. Austrian School, game theory, and experimental economics
    Logic and Philosophy of Science 9 (1): 429-436. 2011.
    Focusing on the work of Friedrich von Hayek and Vernon Smith, we discuss some conceptual links between Austrian economics and recent work in behavioral game theory and experimental economics. After a brief survey of the main methodological aspects of Austrian and experimental economics, we suggest that common views on subjectivism, individualism, and the role of qualitative explanations and predictions in social science may favour a fruitful interaction between these two research programs.
  •  73
    Truth approximation, belief merging, and peer disagreement
    Synthese 191 (11): 2383-2401. 2014.
    In this paper, we investigate the problem of truth approximation via belief merging, i.e., we ask whether, and under what conditions, a group of inquirers merging together their beliefs makes progress toward the truth about the underlying domain. We answer this question by proving some formal results on how belief merging operators perform with respect to the task of truth approximation, construed as increasing verisimilitude or truthlikeness. Our results shed new light on the issue of how ratio…Read more
  •  70
    Fallibilism, Verisimilitude, and the Preface Paradox
    Erkenntnis 82 (1): 169-183. 2017.
    The Preface Paradox apparently shows that it is sometimes rational to believe logically incompatible propositions. In this paper, I propose a way out of the paradox based on the ideas of fallibilism and verisimilitude. More precisely, I defend the view that a rational inquirer can fallibly believe or accept a proposition which is false, or likely false, but verisimilar; and I argue that this view makes the Preface Paradox disappear. Some possible objections to my proposal, and an alternative vie…Read more