Predictive Accuracy as an Achievable Goal of Science

This page was last edited on 04/16/04 by Malcolm R Forster


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Publication Data

Forster, Malcolm R. (2002), “Predictive Accuracy as an Achievable Goal of Science,” Philosophy of Science 69: S124-S134.



What has science actually achieved?  A theory of achievement should define what has been achieved, describe means or methods, and to explain why they tend to work.   Predictive accuracy is one truth-related achievement of science, and there is an explanation of why common scientific practices (of trading off simplicity and fit) tend to increase predictive accuracy.  Akaike’s explanation for the success of AIC is limited to interpolative predictive accuracy.  But therein lies the strength of the general framework, for it also provides a clear formulation of many open problems of research.


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