David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophical Logic 39 (6):679-712 (2010)
Ockham’s razor is the principle that, all other things being equal, scientists ought to prefer simpler theories. In recent years, philosophers have argued that simpler theories make better predictions, possess theoretical virtues like explanatory power, and have other pragmatic virtues like computational tractability. However, such arguments fail to explain how and why a preference for simplicity can help one find true theories in scientific inquiry, unless one already assumes that the truth is simple. One new solution to that problem is the Ockham efficiency theorem (Kelly 2002, 2004, 2007a-d, Kelly and Glymour 2004), which states that scientists who heed Ockham’s razor retract their opinions less often and sooner than do their non-Ockham competitors. The theorem neglects, however, to consider competitors following random (“mixed”) strategies and in many applications random strategies are known to achieve better worst-case loss than deterministic strategies. In this paper, we describe two ways to extend the result to a very general class of random, empirical strategies. The first extension concerns expected retractions, retraction times, and errors and the second extension concerns retractions in chance, times of retractions in chance, and chances of errors
|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
A. Baker (2007). Occam's Razor in Science: A Case Study From Biogeography. Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):193-215.
Alan Baker (2003). Quantitative Parsimony and Explanatory Power. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):245-259.
Malcolm Forster & Elliott Sober (1994). How to Tell When Simpler, More Unified, or Less Ad Hoc Theories Will Provide More Accurate Predictions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):1-35.
Micheal Friedman (1983). Foundations of Space-Time Theories. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Simon Fitzpatrick (2013). Kelly on Ockham's Razor and Truth-Finding Efficiency. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):298-309.
Kevin T. Kelly (2004). Justification as Truth-Finding Efficiency: How Ockham's Razor Works. Minds and Machines 14 (4):485-505.
Wen-Fang Wang (2008). Ockham's New Razor. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 17:149-161.
P. Garcia & F. Esteva (1995). On Ockham Algebras: Congruence Lattices and Subdirectly Irreducible Algebras. Studia Logica 55 (2):319 - 346.
Marcus Hutter (2010). A Complete Theory of Everything (Will Be Subjective). Algorithms 3 (4):329-350.
Arnold Zellner, Hugo A. Keuzenkamp & Michael McAleer (eds.) (2001). Simplicity, Inference and Modeling: Keeping It Sophisticatedly Simple. Cambridge University Press.
Zann Gill (2013). The Other Edge of Ockham's Razor: The A-PR Hypothesis and the Origin of Mind. [REVIEW] Biosemiotics 6 (3):403-419.
Added to index2010-09-14
Total downloads16 ( #117,977 of 1,679,399 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #78,649 of 1,679,399 )
How can I increase my downloads?