One version of the pessimistic meta-induction is self-undermining

Abstract

One version of the pessimistic meta-induction relies heavily on evidence provided by historians of science. However, the disciplines of history of science and philosophy of science have a long history of differing theories that were mature and successful, but incompatible with presently-accepted theories. These theories include incompatible reports from historians and philosophers over whether certain scientific theories are genuinely mature and successful. I argue there exists longstanding, intergenerational disagreements amongst historians and philosophers of science over whether particular scientific theories were (1) genuinely accepted as probably approximately true (and not merely instrumentally useful), (2) genuinely mature, (3) genuinely empirically successful, and (4) genuinely incompatible with a currently-accepted scientific theory. Therefore the pessimistic meta-induction is self-undermining.

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