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conventionalism Conventionalism is the view that the adoption by the relevant scientific community of one theory rather than its rival(s) is a matter of mere convention.

It is now widely accepted in the philosophy of science that even the best-established scientific laws and theories are not fully confirmed by the factual evidence upon which they are based. In part, this is because such laws and theories are usually universal in scope, and so make claims which of necessity go beyond any finite set of evidence for them. Also, the evidence is itself conceptualized and described in terms which are informed by theory. If this is so, choice between rival theories is never determined by the facts and logic alone.

Against conventionalism, it is possible to argue that, in the absence of conclusive proof of a logical or factual kind, there may still be good reasons for accepting one theory as more plausible, better supported by the evidence, and so on, than any available alternative.

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