Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 April 2022
Clark Glymour has argued that hypothetico-deductivism, which many take to be an important method of scientific confirmation, is hopeless because it cannot be reconstructed in classical logic. Such reconstructions, as Glymour points out, fail to uphold the condition of relevance between theory and evidence. I argue that the source of the irrelevant confirmations licensed by these reconstructions lies not with hypothetico-deductivism itself, but with the classical logic in which it is typically reconstructed. I present a new reconstruction of hypothetico-deductivism in relevance logic that does maintain the condition of relevance between theory and evidence. Hence, if hypothetico-deductivism is an important rationale in science, we have good reason to believe that the logic underlying scientific discourse is captured better by relevance logic than by its classical counterpart.
I would like to thank Mike Dunn for introducing me to relevance logic and for offering helpful comments and encouragement.