ad hoc hypothesis


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ad hoc hypothesis

any hypothesis added to an explanatory theory merely to save that theory from potentially refuting evidence. In Popper's FALSIFICATIONISM, ad hoc hypotheses are regarded as illegitimate. He cites Marx and Freud as examples of social thinkers using hypotheses in this way to protect their theories from refutation.
References in periodicals archive ?
10) But as we have seen, an ad hoc hypothesis is one that, according to Popper, is not independently testable of its explanandum, and it does not follow that a replacement hypothesis with less empirical content than its predecessor need also be a hypothesis that is not independently testable of some explanandum of that predecessor.