Replicability of Experiment

John D. Norton


The replicability of experiment is routinely offered as the gold standard of evidence. I argue that it is not supported by a universal principle of replicability in inductive logic. A failure of replication may not impugn a credible experimental result; and a successful replication can fail to vindicate an incredible experimental result. Rather, employing a material approach to inductive inference, the evidential import of successful replication of an experiment is determined by the prevailing background facts. Commonly, these background facts do support successful replication as a good evidential guide and this has fostered the illusion of a deeper, exceptionless principle.


experiment; repeatability; replicability; reproducibility

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