The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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There is no proof in any pudding

June 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of its predictions with experience. The hypothesis is rejected if its predictions are contradicted (‘frequently’ or more often than predictions from an alternative hypothesis); it is accepted if its predictions are not contradicted; great confidence is attached to it if it has survived many opportunities for contradiction. Factual evidence can never ‘prove’ a hypothesis; it can only fail to disprove it, which is what we generally mean when we say, somewhat inexactly, that the hypothesis has been ‘confirmed’ by experience. To avoid confusion, it should perhaps be noted explicitly that the ‘predictions’ by which the validity of a hypothesis is tested need not be about phenomena that have not yet occurred, that is, need not be forecasts of future events; they may be about phenomena that have occurred but observations on which have not yet been made or are not known to the person making the prediction.” – Milton Friedman, “The Methodology of Positive Economics” (emphasis in original)

Tags: Economics · Milton Friedman

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