Sober's principle of common cause and the problem of comparing incomplete hypotheses

Philosophy of Science 55 (4):538-559 (1988)
Sober (1984) has considered the problem of determining the evidential support, in terms of likelihood, for a hypothesis that is incomplete in the sense of not providing a unique probability function over the event space in its domain. Causal hypotheses are typically like this because they do not specify the probability of their initial conditions. Sober's (1984) solution to this problem does not work, as will be shown by examining his own biological examples of common cause explanation. The proposed solution will lead to the conclusion, contra Sober, that common cause hypotheses explain statistical correlations and not matchings between event tokens
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DOI 10.1086/289460
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Elliott Sober (2002). Instrumentalism, Parsimony, and the Akaike Framework. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S112-S123.

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