Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-kw98b Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-03T02:50:02.203Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Experimental Error and Deducibility

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2022

D. H. Mellor*
Affiliation:
Pembroke College, Cambridge University

Abstract

The view is advocated that to preserve a deductivist account of science against recent criticism, it is necessary to incorporate experimental error, or imprecision, in the deductive structure. The sources of imprecision in empirical variables are analyzed, and the notion of conceptual imprecision introduced and illustrated. This is then used to clarify the notion of the acceptable range of a functional law. It is further shown that imprecision may be ascribed to parameters in laws and theories without rendering the deductive structure untestable. It is claimed that this analysis explicates the relation between laws and theories in a way that invalidates certain arguments against its deductive nature.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Philosophy of Science Association 1965

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

[1] Bennett, J. ‘The Status of Determinism', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 14, No. 54 (1963).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[2] Bird, R. B. et al., Transport Phenomena, (New York: Wiley, 1960).Google Scholar
[3] Bridgman, P. W. The Logic of Modern Physics, (New York: Macmillan, 1927).Google Scholar
[4] Brodbeck, M. ‘Explanation, Prediction and “Imperfect” Knowledge', Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol. 3, ed. H. Feigl and G. Maxwell (Minneapolis; University of Minnesota Press, 1962).Google Scholar
[5] Cramér, H. Mathematical Methods of Statistics, (Princeton, 1946).10.1515/9781400883868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[6] Duhem, P. The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory, (Princeton, 1954).10.1515/9780691233857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[7] Feyerabend, P. K. ‘Explanation, Reduction and Empiricism', Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol. 3.Google Scholar
[8] Feyerabend, P. K.How to be a Good Empiricist’, Philosophy of Science, The Delaware Seminar Vol. 2, ed. Baumrin, B., (New York: Interscience, 1963).Google Scholar
[9] Hempel, C. G. ‘Deductive-Nomological vs Statistical Explanation', Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol. 3.Google Scholar
[10] Hodgman, C. D. (ed.), Mathematical Tables from the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 11th Edition, (Cleveland: Chemical Publishing Co. 1959).Google Scholar
[11] Jeffreys, H. Scientific Inference, 2nd. Edition, (Cambridge, 1957).Google Scholar
[12] Körner, S. Conceptual Thinking, (New York: Dover, 1959).Google Scholar
[13] Körner, S. Philosophy of Mathematics, (London: Hutchinson, 1960).Google Scholar
[14] Körner, S. ‘Deductive Unification and Idealisation', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 14, No. 56, (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[15] Mickley, H. S. et. al., Applied Mathematics in Chemical Engineering, 2nd Edition, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1957).Google Scholar
[16] Nagel, E. The Structure of Science, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[17] Pantony, D. A. Chemist's Introduction to Statistics, Theory of Error, and Design of Experiment, (London: Royal Institute of Chemistry Lecture Series No. 2, 1961).Google Scholar
[18] Popper, K. R. ‘The Aim of Science', Ratio, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1957).Google Scholar
[19] Quine, W. V. O. Word and Object, (New York: M.I.T., 1960).Google Scholar
[20] Sellars, W. ‘The Language of Theories', Current Issues in the Philosophy of Science, ed. H. Feigl and G. Maxwell (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961).Google Scholar
[21] International Critical Tables, (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1926).Google Scholar