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The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume IILogic, Loyalty, and Community$
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John J. McDermott

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224845

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823224845.001.0001

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Introduction to Poincaré‎’s Science and Hypothesis

Introduction to Poincaré‎’s Science and Hypothesis

(p.769) 26 Introduction to Poincaré’s Science and Hypothesis
The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume II
John J. McDermott
Fordham University Press

This chapter studies Henri Poincaré's discussion of science and hypotheses. The useful hypotheses of science are of two kinds: the hypotheses which are valuable precisely because they are either verifiable or else refutable through a definite appeal to the tests furnished by experience; and the hypotheses which, despite the fact that experience suggests them, are valuable despite, or even because, of the fact that experience can neither confirm nor refute them. The first type of hypotheses are the ones which the textbooks of inductive logic and those summaries of scientific method which are customary in the course of the elementary treatises upon physical science are already accustomed to recognize and to characterize. However, Poincaré's treatment of the work of science is especially marked by the fact that he explicitly makes prominent both the existence and the scientific importance of hypotheses of the second type.

Keywords:   Henri Poincaré, science, hypotheses, experience, inductive logic, scientific method, physical science

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