What is conjecture?


A conjecture is a proposition that is unproven. Karl Popper pioneered the use of the term "conjecture" in scientific philosophy. Conjecture is contrasted by hypothesis (hence theory, axiom, principle), which is a testable statement based on accepted grounds. In mathematics, a conjecture is an unproven proposition that appears correct.

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Famous quotes containing the word conjecture:

    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    What these perplexities of my uncle Toby were,—’tis impossible for you to guess;Mif you could,—I should blush ... as an author; inasmuch as I set no small store by myself upon this very account, that my reader has never yet been able to guess at any thing. And ... if I thought you was able to form the least ... conjecture to yourself, of what was to come in the next page,—I would tear it out of my book.
    Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)