David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 107 (3):373 - 393 (1996)
Nelson Goodman has constructed two theories of simplicity: one of predicates; one of hypotheses. I offer a simpler theory by generalization and abstraction from his. Generalization comes by dropping special conditions Goodman imposes on which unexcluded extensions count as complicating and which excluded extensions count as simplifying. Abstraction is achieved by counting only nonisomorphic models and subinterpretations. The new theory takes into account all the hypotheses of a theory in assessing its complexity, whether they were projected prior to, or result from, projection of a given hypothesis. It assigns simplicity post-projection priority over simplicity pre-projection. It better orders compound conditionals than does the theory of simplicity of hypotheses, and it does not inherit an anomaly of the theory of simplicity of predicates — its failure to order the ordering relations. Drop Goodman's special conditions, and the problems fall away with them.
|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
I. J. Good (1968). Corroboration, Explanation, Evolving Probability, Simplicity and a Sharpened Razor. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):123-143.
Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
Nelson Goodman (1959). Recent Developments in the Theory of Simplicity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 19 (4):429-446.
Nelson Goodman (1961). Safety, Strength, Simplicity. Philosophy of Science 28 (2):150-151.
Nelson Goodman (1951). The Structure of Appearance. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
John R. Welch (2013). New Tools for Theory Choice and Theory Diagosis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (3):318-329.
Similar books and articles
Elliott Sober (1975). Simplicity. Clarendon Press.
Arnold Zellner, Hugo A. Keuzenkamp & Michael McAleer (eds.) (2001). Simplicity, Inference and Modeling: Keeping It Sophisticatedly Simple. Cambridge University Press.
Nicholas Maxwell, Simplicity. PhilSci Archive.
James W. McAllister (1991). The Simplicity of Theories: Its Degree and Form. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 22 (1):1-14.
I. J. Good & Alan F. McMichael (1984). A Pragmatic Modification of Explicativity for the Acceptance of Hypotheses. Philosophy of Science 51 (1):120-127.
Aaron Sloman, Simplicity and Ontologies The Trade-Off Between Simplicity of Theories and Sophistication of Ontologies.
Donald J. Hillman (1962). The Measurement of Simplicity. Philosophy of Science 29 (3):225-252.
Brian M. Scott (1996). Technical Notes on a Theory of Simplicity. Synthese 109 (2):281 - 289.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #78,682 of 1,147,244 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #140,193 of 1,147,244 )
How can I increase my downloads?