Published on Thu Jul 08 2021

Degrees of riskiness, falsifiability, and truthlikeness. A neo-Popperian account applicable to probabilistic theories

Leander Vignero, Sylvia Wenmackers

In this paper, we take a fresh look at three Popperian concepts: riskiness, falsifiability, and truthlikeness (or verisimilitude) of scientific hypotheses. Throughout, we pay special attention to probabilistic theories.

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Abstract

In this paper, we take a fresh look at three Popperian concepts: riskiness, falsifiability, and truthlikeness (or verisimilitude) of scientific hypotheses or theories. First, we make explicit the dimensions that underlie the notion of riskiness. Secondly, we examine if and how degrees of falsifiability can be defined, and how they are related to various dimensions of the concept of riskiness as well as the experimental context. Thirdly, we consider the relation of riskiness to (expected degrees of) truthlikeness. Throughout, we pay special attention to probabilistic theories and we offer a tentative, quantitative account of verisimilitude for probabilistic theories.