David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
PhilSci Archive (2001)
There are two problems of simplicity. What does it mean to characterize a scientific theory as simple, unified or explanatory in view of the fact that a simple theory can always be made complex (and vice versa) by a change of terminology? How is preference in science for simple theories to be justified? In this paper I put forward a proposal as to how the first problem is to be solved. The more nearly the totality of fundamental physical theory exemplifies the metaphysical thesis that the universe has a unified dynamic structure, so the simpler that totality of theory is. What matters is content, not form. This proposed solution may appear to be circular, but I argue that it is not. Towards the end of the paper I make a few remarks about the second, justificational problem of simplicity.
|Keywords||Simplicity Theoretical Unity Explanation Aim-Oriented Empiricism|
|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
Stewart Duncan (2009). Hume and a Worry About Simplicity. History of Philosophy Quarterly 26 (2):139-157.
Nicholas Maxwell, Comprehensibility Rather Than Beauty. PhilSci Archive.
Arnold Zellner, Hugo A. Keuzenkamp & Michael McAleer (eds.) (2001). Simplicity, Inference and Modeling: Keeping It Sophisticatedly Simple. Cambridge University Press.
Aaron Sloman, Simplicity and Ontologies The Trade-Off Between Simplicity of Theories and Sophistication of Ontologies.
Nicholas Maxwell (1979). Induction, Simplicity and Scientific Progress. Scientia 114:629-653.
Nicholas Maxwell (1974). The Rationality of Scientific Discovery Part II: An Aim Oriented Theory of Scientific Discovery. Philosophy of Science 41 (3):247-295.
Nicholas Maxwell (2011). A Priori Conjectural Knowledge in Physics: The Comprehensibility of the Universe. In Mkichael Shaffer & Michael Veber (eds.), What Place for the A Priori? Open Court.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads101 ( #10,084 of 1,096,231 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #11,868 of 1,096,231 )
How can I increase my downloads?