<epistemology, philosophy of science, hypothesis, ockhamism> <empiricism, neo-empiricism, hypotetical deductive method> in science, a testable assertion -- especially a generalization or lawlike assertion, e.g., Newton's law of universal gravitation which states (in part) "All bodies attract each other with a force inversely proportional to their distance." Hypotheses that survive testing come to be confirmed, whereupon they are provisionally accepted as scientific laws.
<philosophy of science, epistemology, logic> a general principle, tentatively put forward for the purposes of scientific explanation and subject to disconfirmation by empirical evidence. For a more detailed discussion, see Logic. Recommended Reading: Karl R. Popper, Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge, 1992); Henri Poincare, Science and Hypothesis (Dover, 1952); Errol E. Harris, Hypothesis and Perception: The Roots of Scientific Method (Prometheus, 1996); Larry Laudan, Science and Hypothesis: Historical Essays on Scientific Methodology (Reidel, 1982); David Weissman, Hypothesis and the Spiral of Reflection (SUNY, 1989); and Peter Achinstein and Owen Hannaway, Observation, Experiment, and Hypothesis in Modern Physical Science (MIT, 1985).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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