2016 年 69 巻 p. 11-22
The way to have another look at earthquake prediction/forecast researches in Japan is discussed from a border between the seismology and the history and philosophy of science. Scientific revolution is often symbolically expressed as the shift of the paradigm, idea of which was introduced by Thomas Kuhn. In the field of earthquake prediction research, here we tentatively define its paradigm as a combination of the following ideas - though these would be too humble :1) plate tectonics, 2) asperity or distribution of frictional strength on a fault surface, 3) constitutive law of friction, 4) numerical simulations of precursory process, and 5) observation system of crustal deformation prior to a large earthquake. The case for the paradigm is that any of convincing precursors to a large earthquake has not been observed yet, and, the distribution of frictional strength on a fault surface, in particular, on the subducting plate boundary, is not precisely estimated. Our history of modern seismology is too short to resolve such observational problems. Given that essence of the progress in science is the repetition of proposal of hypotheses and its verification or its rejection, scientists are strongly obliged to propose new hypotheses based on new findings and discoveries to be tested and discussed. Even if the result does not occur along prediction/forecast, it should be appreciated as the science if their scientific context is acceptable. Progressive theory that prevails over degressive one, in the meaning of “research program” theorem proposed by Lakatos Imre, will stimulate the earthquake prediction research in Japan, for which the authors truly believe in. Individual researchers working on the prediction/forecast researches are responsible only for their scientific context. Administrative organizations of seismologists such as the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion and the Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction should take a responsibility for our society.