Bayesians sometimes cannot ignore even very implausible theories (even ones that have not yet been thought of)
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Australasian Journal of Logic 6:25-36 (2008)
In applying Bayes’s theorem to the history of science, Bayesians sometimes assume – often without argument – that they can safely ignore very implausible theories. This assumption is false, both in that it can seriously distort the history of science as well as the mathematics and the applicability of Bayes’s theorem. There are intuitively very plausible counter-examples. In fact, one can ignore very implausible or unknown theories only if at least one of two conditions is satisfied: one is certain that there are no unknown theories which explain the phenomenon in question, or the likelihood of at least one of the known theories used in the calculation of the posterior is reasonably large. Often in the history of science, a very surprising phenomenon is observed, and neither of these criteria is satisfied
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
C. Ulises Moulines (2001). Ontology, Reduction, and the Unity of Science. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2001:19-27.
Nancy C. M. Hartsock (1980). Social Life and Social Science: The Significance of the Naturalist/Intentionalist Dispute. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:325 - 345.
Wesley C. Salmon (1990). The Appraisal of Theories: Kuhn Meets Bayes. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:325 - 332.
Giuliana A. L. Mazzoni, Elizabeth F. Loftus & Irving Kirsch (2001). Changing Beliefs About Implausible Autobiographical Events: A Little Plausibility Goes a Long Way. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 7 (1):51.
Peter Achinstein (2000). Why Philosophical Theories of Evidence Are (and Ought to Be) Ignored by Scientists. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):192.
Nancy Cartwright (1994). The Metaphysics of the Disunified World. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:357 - 364.
David Coady (2003). Conspiracy Theories and Official Stories. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):197-209.
Gerald D. Doppelt (2011). From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):295-316.
Rosanna Keefe (2012). Modelling Vagueness: What Can We Ignore? Philosophical Studies 161 (3):453-470.
Michael J. Shaffer (2001). Bayesian Confirmation of Theories That Incorporate Idealizations. Philosophy of Science 68 (1):36-52.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #126,584 of 1,725,611 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #72,319 of 1,725,611 )
How can I increase my downloads?