• Theories of truth approximation in terms of truthlikeness almost always deal with approaching deterministic truths, either actual or nomic. This paper deals first with approaching a probabilistic nomic truth, viz. a true probability distribution. It assumes a multinomial probabilistic context, hence with a lawlike true, but usually unknown, probability distribution. We will first show that this true multinomial distribution can be approached by Carnapian inductive probabilities. Next we will dea…Read more
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    How to confirm the disconfirmed. On conjunction fallacies and robust confirmation
    with David Atkinson and Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Philosophy of Science 76 1-21. 2009.
    Can some evidence confirm a conjunction of two hypotheses more than it confirms either of the hypotheses separately? We show that it can, moreover under conditions that are the same for nine different measures of confirmation. Further we demonstrate that it is even possible for the conjunction of two disconfirmed hypotheses to be confirmed by the same evidence.
  •  119
    In earlier publications of the first author it was shown that intentional explanation of actions, functional explanation of biological traits and causal explanation of abnormal events share a common structure. They are called explanation by specification (of a goal, a biological function, an abnormal causal factor, respectively) as opposed to explanation by subsumption under a law. Explanation by specification is guided by a schematic train of thought, of which the argumentative steps not concer…Read more
  •  3
    Stratified Nomic Realism
    In Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (ed.), New Approaches to Scientific Realism, De Gruyter. pp. 145-166. 2020.
  •  1
    Epistemological Positions in the Light of Truth Approximation
    The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 37 131-138. 1998.
    I discuss in a systematic order the most important epistemological positions in the instrumentalism-realism debate, viz., instrumentalism, constructive empiricism, referential realism, and theory realism. My conclusions are as follows. There are good reasons for the instrumentalist to become a constructive empiricist. In turn, the constructive empiricist is forced to become a referential realist in order to give deeper explanations of success differences. Consequently, there are further good rea…Read more
  •  3
    Nomic Truth Approximation Revisited
    Springer Verlag. 2019.
    This monograph presents new ideas in nomic truth approximation. It features original and revised papers from a philosopher of science who has studied the concept for more than 35 years. Over the course of time, the author's initial ideas evolved. He discovered a way to generalize his first theory of nomic truth approximation, viz. by dropping an unnecessarily strong assumption. In particular, he first believed to have to assume that theories were maximally specific in the sense that they did not…Read more
  •  4
    The philosophy of science has lost its self-confidence, witness the lack of advanced textbooks in contrast to the abundance of elementary textbooks. Structures in Science is an advanced textbook that explicates, updates, accommodates, and integrates the best insights of logical-empiricism and its main critics. This `neo-classical approach' aims at providing heuristic patterns for research. The book introduces four ideal types of research programs and reanimates the distinction between observatio…Read more
  •  43
    INTRODUCTION When Karl Popper published in' his definition of closer-to-the- truth this was an important intellectual event, but not a shocking one. ...
  • 1. How to Confirm the Conjunction of Disconfirmed Hypotheses
    with David Atkinson and Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Philosophy of Science 76 (1): 1-21. 2009.
  •  5
    Assuming that the target of theory oriented empirical science in general and of nomic truth approximation in particular is to characterize the boundary or demarcation between nomic possibilities and nomic impossibilities, I have presented, in my article entitled “Models, postulates, and generalized nomic truth approximation” :3057–3077, 2016. 10.1007/s11229-015-0916-9), the ‘basic’ version of generalized nomic truth approximation, starting from ‘two-sided’ theories. Its main claim is that nomic …Read more
  • What is Closer-to-the Truth? A Parade of Approaches to Truthlikeness
    Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 50 (3): 575-576. 1988.
  •  12
    Idealization I: General Problems (edited book)
    with Jerzy Brzezinski, Francesco Coniglione, and Leszek Nowak
    Rodopi. 1990.
    o;,nai\ Studies in the Philosophy of the Scienees and the Humanities 1999, Vol. I6,-57 Ilkka Niiniluoto THEORIES, APPROXIMATIONS, AND IDEALIZATIONS" L ...
  •  23
    Beauty, A Road To The Truth
    Synthese 131 (3): 291-328. 2002.
    In this article I give a naturalistic-cum-formal analysis of the relation between beauty, empirical success, and truth. The analysis is based on the one hand on a hypothetical variant of the so-called 'mere-exposure effect' which has been more or less established in experimental psychology regarding exposure-affect relationships in general and aesthetic appreciation in particular. On the other hand it is based on the formal theory of truthlikeness and truth approximation as presented in my "From…Read more
  •  19
    Empirical progress and nomic truth approximation revisited
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46 64-72. 2012.
  •  16
    Three related intuitions are explicated in this paper. The first is the idea that there must be some kind of probabilistic version of the HD-method, a 'Hypothetico-Probabilistic method', in terms of something like probabilistic consequences, instead of deductive consequences. According to the second intuition, the comparative application of this method should also be functional for some probabilistic kind of empirical progress, and according to the third intuition this should be functional for s…Read more
  •  32
    The qualitative theory of nomic truth approximation, presented in Kuipers in his, in which ‘the truth’ concerns the distinction between nomic, e.g. physical, possibilities and impossibilities, rests on a very restrictive assumption, viz. that theories always claim to characterize the boundary between nomic possibilities and impossibilities. Fully recognizing two different functions of theories, viz. excluding and representing, this paper drops this assumption by conceiving theories in developmen…Read more
  • 3 in philosophy, and therefore in metaphilosophy, cannot be based on rules that avoid spending time on pseudo-problems. Of course, this implies that, if one succeeds in demonstrating convincingly the pseudo-character of a problem by giving its 'solution', the time spent on it need not be seen as wasted. We conclude this section with a brief statement of the criteria for concept explication as they have been formulated in several places by Carnap, Hempel and Stegmiiller. Hempel's account is still…Read more
  •  21
    Empirical progress and nomic truth approximation revisited
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46 64-72. 2014.
    In my From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism I have shown how an instrumentalist account of empirical progress can be related to nomic truth approximation. However, it was assumed that a strong notion of nomic theories was needed for that analysis. In this paper it is shown, in terms of truth and falsity content, that the analysis already applies when, in line with scientific common sense, nomic theories are merely assumed to exclude certain conceptual possibilities as nomic possibilities
  •  7
    Idealization Ii:: Forms and Applications
    with Jerzy Brzezinski, Francesco Coniglione, and Leszek Nowak
    Rodopi. 1990.
  • This collection of 17 articles offers an overview of the philosophical activities of a group of philosophers working at the Groningen University. The meta-methodological assumption which unifies the research of this group, holds that there is a way to do philosophy which is a middle course between abstract normative philosophy of science and descriptive social studies of science. On the one hand it is argued with social studies of science that philosophy should take notice of what scientists act…Read more
  • Cognitive patterns in the empirical sciences: Examples of cognitive studies of science, to appear in
    Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal. forthcoming.