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In defence of Popper on the logical possibility of universal laws : a reply to Contessa
Philosophical Writings
  • Darrell Patrick ROWBOTTOM, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date

This paper is a critique of Contessa’s (in the same issue). First, I show that Popper in The Logic of Scientific Discovery argues against the view that the logical probability of a hypothesis is identical to its degree of confirmation (or corroboration), rather than against Bayesianism. Second, I explain that his argument to this effect does not depend on the assumption that ‘the universe is infinite’. Third, and finally, I refine Popper’s case by developing an argument which requires only that some universal laws have a logical probability of zero relative to any finite evidence, and providing an example concerning Newtonian mechanics.

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Copyright © 2006 Durham University Department of Philosophy

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Citation Information
Rowbottom, D. P. (2006). In defence of Popper on the logical possibility of universal laws: A reply to Contessa. Philosophical Writings, 31(1), 53-60.