Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 43, 2008

Philosophy of Natural Sciences

Ilkka Niiniluoto
Pages 151-156

Unification and Abductive Confirmation

According to the traditional requirement, formulated already by William Whewell in his account of the “consilience of inductions” in 1840, an explanatory scientific theory should be independently testable by new kinds of phenomena. A good theory should have unifying power in the sense that it explains and predicts several mutually independent phenomena. This paper studies the prospects of Bayesianism to motivate this kind of unification criterion for abductive confirmation.