[hist-analytic] Is empiricism and empirical theory?

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Fri Sep 17 09:58:45 EDT 2010


Quine held that empiricism is an empirical doctrine (Goldfarb #4). But if there is no essential connection between empiricism and prediction then the inability to predict a phenomenon is no reason for rejecting it as unempirical. There may be events which are empirical but which are not collaborable. Prediction may fail because, certain, empirical events are related in ways that are not lawlike. This possibility holds not only for events introduced by clairvoyance, but also certain relations of historical events. The "singularist" view of causation is consistent with an empirical theory of history which is not based on corroboration based on retrodiction or prediction. Control over initial conditions may presuppose laws; if these laws do not exist, this is insufficient to deny the events ab initio. 

Steve Bayne 
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