The Book of Evidence

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Sep 20, 2001 - Science - 304 pages
0 Reviews
What is required for something to be evidence for a hypothesis? In this fascinating, elegantly written work, distinguished philosopher of science Peter Achinstein explores this question, rejecting typical philosophical and statistical theories of evidence. He claims these theories are much too weak to give scientists what they want--a good reason to believe--and, in some cases, they furnish concepts that mistakenly make all evidential claims a priori. Achinstein introduces four concepts of evidence, defines three of them by reference to "potential" evidence, and characterizes the latter using a novel epistemic interpretation of probability. The resulting theory is then applied to philosophical and historical issues. Solutions are provided to the "grue," "ravens," "lottery," and "old-evidence" paradoxes, and to a series of questions. These include whether explanations or predictions furnish more evidential weight, whether individual hypotheses or entire theoretical systems can receive evidential support, what counts as a scientific discovery, and what sort of evidence is required for it. The historical questions include whether Jean Perrin had non-circular evidence for the existence of molecules, what type of evidence J. J. Thomson offered for the existence of the electron, and whether, as is usually supposed, he really discovered the electron. Achinstein proposes answers in terms of the concepts of evidence introduced. As the premier book in the fabulous new series Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science, this volume is essential for philosophers of science and historians of science, as well as for statisticians, scientists with philosophical interests, and anyone curious about scientific reasoning.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Related books


1 The Deans Challenge
2 Concepts of Evidence or How the Electron Got Its Charge
3 Two Major Probabilistic Theories of Evidence
4 Whats Wrong with These Probabilistic Theories of Evidence?
5 Objective Epistemic Probability
6 Evidence High Probability and Belief
7 The Explanatory Connection
8 Final Definitions and Realism
Ravens and Grue
Which Carries More Evidential Weight?
11 OldAge and NewAge Holism
Jean Perrin and Molecular Reality
13 Who Really Discovered the Electron?

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

References from web pages

Oxford Scholarship Online: The Book of Evidence
Subject: Philosophy Book Title: The Book of Evidence. The Book of Evidence. Achinstein, Peter Professor of Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University ... oso/ public/ content/ philosophy/ 9780195143898/ toc.html

The Book of Evidence -- Peter Achinstein
Religious Studies, Science, Cognitive Sci/Artificial Intel, History & Philosophy of, Statistics, Writing & publishing, Home Page Books. The Book of Evidence ... detail/ 0195171713

Goodreads | The Book of Evidence (Oxford Studies in the Philosophy ...
About The Book of Evidence: What is required for something to be evidence for a hypothesis? In this fascinating, elegantly written work, ... book/ show/ 170.The_Book_of_Evidence

citeulike: The Book of Evidence
The Book of Evidence, pp. 95-114. by Achinstein, Peter · 6. Evidence, High Probability, and Belief. The Book of Evidence, pp. 114-145. by Achinstein, Peter ... journal/ oso-535556

University of Chicago Press - Book Review - 10.1086/376190
The Book of Evidence is ambitious in aim and thorough in detail: it seeks to ... The Book of Evidence provides a foundation for this and for Achinsteinís ... cgi-bin/ resolve?ISIS940109087

Telegraphic reviews
The Book of Evidence. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press. 290 pp. $49.95. ISBN 0-19-514389-2. In this volume, philosopher Peter Achinstein ... retrieve/ pii/ S0022249602914276

The Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 7, 2003
... the most convincing evidence he can use on skeptics," said Achinstein, organizer of the conference and author of the recent book The Book of Evidence. ... ~gazette/ 2003/ 07apr03/ 07counts.html

Restoring Ambiguity to Achinsteinís Account of Evidence
In The Book of Evidence, Peter Achinstein argues against the long-standing ... The view set out in The Book of Evidence, with roots in Achinsteinís writings ... cgi/ reprint/ 55/ 2/ 269.pdf

Is Analytic Philosophy of Science Any Help to Science
In The Book of Evidence Peter Achinstein attempts to show that philosophy of science is important for science. He proposes to do so by providing an account ... wpayne/ I%20analytic%20Phil.htm

Critical Notices
Critical Notices. Autonomous Agents: From Self-control to Autonomy. ALFRED R. MELE. New. York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Pp. viii, 271. ... doi/ pdf/ 10.1111/ j.1933-1592.2004.tb00380.x

Bibliographic information