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Hesse, Mary. The Structure of scientific inference
1974, University of California Press.
Added by: Laura Jimenez

Publisher’s Note: A danger of a heavily formalist approach to the structure of science is that it may lose sight of the concrete actualities on which scientific inference is exercised. On the other hand, and excessively descriptive and relativist approach fails to achieve a general systematization of models of inference. This book tries to steer a middle course between these extremes. Hesse first discusses some epistemological problems bequeathed by positivists analyses of science and also considers the problem of inductive justification of theories in relation to evidence. Following Keynes and Carnap she argues that the axioms of probability constitute the best postulate system for a logic of confirmation.

Comment: Highly recommended for undergraduates. It covers many important points of the topic: confirmation theory, generalizations, causal laws… It is useful for courses in philosophy of science but it could also serve as a further reading for courses in epistemology.

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