Probabilities: Reasonable or true?

Philosophy of Science 44 (2):186-198 (1977)
Abstract
Hempel's high probability requirement asserts that any rationally acceptable answer to the question 'Why did event X occur?' must offer information which shows that X was to be expected at least with reasonable probability. Salmon rejected this requirement in his S-R model. This led to a series of paradoxical consequences, such as the assertion that an explanation of an event can both lower its probability and make it arbitrarily low, and the assertion that the explanation of an outcome would have qualified as an explanation of its non-occurrence as well. We argue that if inductive explanations are to be seen as generalizations of the causal-deterministic model, or if they are to be seen as satisfying the requirement--fulfilled by the D-N model--that explanations ought to identify certain features of the universe that are nomically responsible for the explanadum event, then the high probability requirement seems to be unacceptable. If this is so, a realistically inspired theory of inductive explanation will be committed to the paradoxes that follow from Salmon's model
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Citations of this work BETA
J. Alberto Coffa (1976). Reply to Harnatt. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 7 (2):357-358.
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