Replicability of Experiment

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 30, Issue: 2, Page: 229-248

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Norton, John D.
UPV/EHU Press; Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
Arts and Humanities
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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.