A fuzzy measure for explanatory coherence

Synthese 122 (3):291-311 (2000)
In a series of articles, Paul Thagard has developed a connectionist''s modelfor the evaluation of explanatory coherence for competing systems ofhypotheses. He has successfully applied it to various examples from thehistory of science and common language reasoning. However, I will argue thathis formalism does not adequately represent explanatory relations betweenmore than two propositions.In this paper, I develop a generalization of Thagard''s approach. It is notsubject to the connectionist paradigm of neural nets, but is based on fuzzylogic: Explanatory coherence increases with the fuzzy truth value of theconjunction of explanans and explanandum and decreases with the value of theconjunction of explanans and the negation of the explanandum.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005230112028
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