ad hoc hypothesis
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ad hoc hypothesisany 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.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000