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On the Epistemic Significance of Predictive SuccessConfirmed predictions serve as the most compelling evidence in favor of scientific realism. However, Brush’s reception studies on the significance of predictions has shown that (1) the majority of successful predictions are not a significant contributing factor to a community’s pursuit of a theory and, (2) when successful predictions have mattered to a theory’s reception, their significance hasn't been located in their role as a signal of a theory’s truth.
Using Brush’s studies, I develop a conception of the epistemic significance of confirmed predictions and an alternative conception of the rational basis for the deference to science.
Case Western Reserve University