Search results for 'simplicity' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Nicholas Maxwell, Non-Empirical Requirements Scientific Theories Must Satisfy: Simplicity, Unification, Explanation, Beauty. PhilSci Archive.score: 18.0
    A scientific theory, in order to be accepted as a part of theoretical scientific knowledge, must satisfy both empirical and non-empirical requirements, the latter having to do with simplicity, unity, explanatory character, symmetry, beauty. No satisfactory, generally accepted account of such non-empirical requirements has so far been given. Here, a proposal is put forward which, it is claimed, makes a contribution towards solving the problem. This proposal concerns unity of physical theory. In order to satisfy the non-empirical requirement of (...)
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  2. Nicholas Maxwell, Simplicity. PhilSci Archive.score: 18.0
    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 (...)
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  3. Andrew Pessin (2010). Divine Simplicity and the Eternal Truths: Descartes and the Scholastics. Philosophia 38 (1):69-105.score: 18.0
    Descartes famously endorsed the view that (CD) God freely created the eternal truths, such that He could have done otherwise than He did. This controversial doctrine is much discussed in recent secondary literature, yet Descartes’s actual arguments for CD have received very little attention. In this paper I focus on what many take to be a key Cartesian argument for CD: that divine simplicity entails the dependence of the eternal truths on the divine will. What makes this argument both (...)
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  4. Stewart Duncan (2009). Hume and a Worry About Simplicity. History of Philosophy Quarterly 26 (2):139-157.score: 18.0
    I discuss Hume's views about whether simplicity and generality are positive features of explanations. In criticizing Hobbes and others who base their systems of morality on self interest, Hume diagnoses their errors as resulting from a "love of simplicity". These worries about whether simplicity is a positive feature of explanations emerge in Hume's thinking over time. But Hume does not completely reject the idea that it's good to seek simple explanations. What Hume thinks we need is good (...)
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  5. Joshua Colt Gambrel & Philip Cafaro (2010). The Virtue of Simplicity. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):85-108.score: 18.0
    In this paper we explore material simplicity, defined as the virtue disposing us to act appropriately within the sphere of our consumer decisions. Simplicity is a conscientious and restrained attitude toward material goods that typically includes (1) decreased consumption and (2) a more conscious consumption; hence (3) greater deliberation regarding our consumer decisions; (4) a more focused life in general; and (5) a greater and more nuanced appreciation for other things besides material goods, and also for (6) material (...)
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  6. Elliott Sober (1975). Simplicity. Clarendon Press.score: 18.0
    Attempts to show that the simplicity of a hypothesis can be measured by attending to how well it answers certain kinds of questions.
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  7. Mohammad Saeedimehr (2007). Divine Simplicity. Topoi 26 (2):191-199.score: 18.0
    According to a doctrine widely held by most medieval philosophers and theologians, whether in the Muslim or Christian world, there are no metaphysical distinctions in God whatsoever. As a result of the compendious theorizing that has been done on this issue, the doctrine, usually called the doctrine of divine simplicity, has been bestowed a prominent status in both Islamic and Christian philosophical theology. In Islamic philosophy some well-known philosophers, such as Ibn Sina (980–1037) and Mulla Sadra (1571–1640), developed this (...)
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  8. Arnold Zellner, Hugo A. Keuzenkamp & Michael McAleer (eds.) (2001). Simplicity, Inference and Modeling: Keeping It Sophisticatedly Simple. Cambridge University Press.score: 18.0
    The idea that simplicity matters in science is as old as science itself, with the much cited example of Ockham's Razor, 'entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem': entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity. A problem with Ockham's razor is that nearly everybody seems to accept it, but few are able to define its exact meaning and to make it operational in a non-arbitrary way. Using a multidisciplinary perspective including philosophers, mathematicians, econometricians and economists, this monograph examines (...) by asking six questions: What is meant by simplicity? How is simplicity measured? Is there an optimum trade-off between simplicity and goodness-of-fit? What is the relation between simplicity and empirical modelling? What is the relation between simplicity and prediction? What is the connection between simplicity and convenience? The book concludes with reflections on simplicity by Nobel Laureates in Economics. (shrink)
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  9. Armin W. Schulz (2011). Simulation, Simplicity, and Selection: An Evolutionary Perspective on High-Level Mindreading. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 152 (2):271 - 285.score: 18.0
    In this paper, I argue that a natural selection-based perspective gives reasons for thinking that the core of the ability to mindread cognitively complex mental states is subserved by a simulationist process—that is, that it relies on nonspecialised mechanisms in the attributer's cognitive architecture whose primary function is the generation of her own decisions and inferences. In more detail, I try to establish three conclusions. First, I try to make clearer what the dispute between simulationist and non-simulationist theories of mindreading (...)
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  10. Yann Schmitt (2013). The Deadlock of Absolute Divine Simplicity. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):117-130.score: 18.0
    In this article, I explain how and why different attempts to defend absolute divine simplicity fail. A proponent of absolute divine simplicity has to explain why different attributions do not suppose a metaphysical complexity in God but just one superproperty, why there is no difference between God and His super-property and finally how a absolute simple entity can be the truthmaker of different intrinsic predications. It does not necessarily lead to a rejection of divine simplicity but it (...)
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  11. M. B. Willard (2014). Against Simplicity. Philosophical Studies 167 (1):165-181.score: 18.0
    Sometimes metaphysicians appeal to simplicity as a reason to prefer one metaphysical theory to another, especially when a philosophical dispute has otherwise reached a state of equilibrium. In this paper, I show that given a Quinean conception of metaphysics, several initially plausible justifications for simplicity as a metaphysical criterion do not succeed. If philosophers wish to preserve simplicity as a metaphysical criterion, therefore, they must radically reconceive the project of metaphysics.
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  12. Luigi Scorzato (2013). On the Role of Simplicity in Science. Synthese 190 (14):2867-2895.score: 18.0
    Simple assumptions represent a decisive reason to prefer one theory to another in everyday scientific praxis. But this praxis has little philosophical justification, since there exist many notions of simplicity, and those that can be defined precisely strongly depend on the language in which the theory is formulated. The language dependence is a natural feature—to some extent—but it is also believed to be a fatal problem, because, according to a common general argument, the simplicity of a theory is (...)
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  13. James W. McAllister (1991). The Simplicity of Theories: Its Degree and Form. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 22 (1):1-14.score: 18.0
    Almost all commentators acknowledge that among the grounds on which scientists perform theory-choices are criteria of simplicity. In general, simplicity is regarded either as only a logico-empirical quality of a theory, diagnostic of the theory's future predictive success, or as a purely aesthetic or otherwise extra-empirical property of it. This paper attempts to demonstrate that the simplicity-criteria applied in scientific practice include both a logico-empirical and a quasi-aesthetic criterion: to conflate these in an account of scientists' theory-choice (...)
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  14. John Lamont (1997). Aquinas on Divine Simplicity. The Monist 80 (4):521-538.score: 18.0
    The paper corrects misrepresentations of Aquinas's understanding of divine simplicity, argues that the reasons he gives for divine simplicity are persuasive ones, and suggests how Aquinas's account of the Trinity can be used to explain how God can be said to exist necessarily. It gives an account of Aquinas's conception of form and individualised form, and shows how Plantinga's criticism of Aquinas's position on divine simplicity rests on a misunderstanding of Aquinas's notion of form. It describes and (...)
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  15. Jerome M. Segal (2002). Graceful Simplicity: The Philosophy and Politics of the Alternative American Dream. University of California Press.score: 18.0
    Despite the United States' economic abundance, "the good life" has proved elusive. Millions long for more time for friends and family, for reading or walking or relaxing. Instead our lives are frantic, hectic, and harried. In Graceful Simplicity, Jerome M. Segal, philosopher, political activist, and former staff member of the House Budget Committee, expands and deepens the contemporary discourse on simple living. He articulates his conception of a politics of simplicity--one rooted in beauty, peace of mind, appreciativeness, and (...)
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  16. Philippe Gagnon (2013). An Improbable God Between Simplicity and Complexity: Thinking About Dawkins's Challenge. International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):409-433.score: 18.0
    Richard Dawkins has popularized an argument that he thinks sound for showing that there is almost certainly no God. It rests on the assumptions (1) that complex and statistically improbable things are more difficult to explain than those that are not and (2) that an explanatory mechanism must show how this complexity can be built up from simpler means. But what justifies claims about the designer’s own complexity? One comes to a different understanding of order and of simplicity when (...)
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  17. Yunfeng Li & Zygmunt Pizlo (2011). Depth Cues Versus the Simplicity Principle in 3D Shape Perception. Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (4):667-685.score: 18.0
    Two experiments were performed to explore the mechanisms of human 3D shape perception. In Experiment 1, the subjects’ performance in a shape constancy task in the presence of several cues (edges, binocular disparity, shading and texture) was tested. The results show that edges and binocular disparity, but not shading or texture, are important in 3D shape perception. Experiment 2 tested the effect of several simplicity constraints, such as symmetry and planarity on subjects’ performance in a shape constancy task. The (...)
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  18. Anne S. Hsu, Nick Chater & Paul Vitányi (2013). Language Learning From Positive Evidence, Reconsidered: A Simplicity-Based Approach. Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (1):35-55.score: 18.0
    Children learn their native language by exposure to their linguistic and communicative environment, but apparently without requiring that their mistakes be corrected. Such learning from “positive evidence” has been viewed as raising “logical” problems for language acquisition. In particular, without correction, how is the child to recover from conjecturing an over-general grammar, which will be consistent with any sentence that the child hears? There have been many proposals concerning how this “logical problem” can be dissolved. In this study, we review (...)
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  19. Nicholas Maxwell (1979). Induction, Simplicity and Scientific Progress. Scientia 114:629-653.score: 18.0
    In a recent work, Popper claims to have solved the problem of induction. In this paper I argue that Popper fails both to solve the problem, and to formulate the problem properly. I argue, however, that there are aspects of Popper's approach which, when strengthened and developed, do provide a solution to at least an important part of the problem of induction, along somewhat Popperian lines. This proposed solution requires, and leads to, a new theory of the role of (...) in science, which may have helpful implications for science itself, thus actually stimulating scientific progress. (shrink)
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  20. Erik Wielenberg (2009). Dawkins's Gambit, Hume's Aroma, and God's Simplicity. Philosophia Christi 11 (1):113-127.score: 15.0
    I examine the central atheistic argument of Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion (“Dawkins’s Gambit”) and illustrate its failure. I further show that Dawkins’s Gambit is a fragment of a more comprehensive critique of theism found in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Among the failings of Dawkins’s Gambit is that it is directed against a version of the God Hypothesis that few traditional monotheists hold. Hume’s critique is more challenging in that it targets versions of the God Hypothesis that (...)
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  21. Simon Fitzpatrick (2013). Simplicity in the Philosophy of Science. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.score: 15.0
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  22. John A. Humphrey (1999). Quine, Kripke's Wittgenstein, Simplicity and Sceptical Solutions. Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):43-55.score: 15.0
  23. P. Ziff (1965). The Simplicity of Other Minds. Journal of Philosophy 62 (October):575-84.score: 15.0
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  24. Jack Cohen (1994). The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World. Viking.score: 15.0
    Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'.
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  25. Lawrence B. Slobodkin (1992). Simplicity and Complexity in Games of the Intellect. Harvard University Press.score: 15.0
    Slobodkin proposes that the best intellectual work is done as if it were a game on a simplified playing field.
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  26. Scott Sehon & Donald Stanley (2010). Evidence and Simplicity: Why We Should Reject Homeopathy. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):276-281.score: 15.0
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  27. Marleen Rozemond (forthcoming). The Faces of Simplicity in Descartes’s Soul. In K. Corcilius, D. Perler & C. Helmig (eds.), The Parts of the Soul. De Gruyter.score: 15.0
    In this paper I explain several ways in which Descartes denied that the human soul or mind is composite and the role this idea played in his thought. The mind is whole in the whole and whole in the parts of the body because it has no parts. Unlike body, the mind is indivisible, and this is a different idea from the thought that mind and body are incorruptible. Descartes connects the immortality of the soul with its status as a (...)
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  28. Laird Addis (2000). The Simplicity of Content. Metaphysica 1 (2):23-44.score: 15.0
     
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  29. Wil Derkse (1992). On Simplicity and Elegance: An Essay in Intellectual History. Eburon.score: 15.0
  30. Kenneth S. Friedman (1990). Predictive Simplicity: Induction Exhum'd. Pergamon Press.score: 15.0
     
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  31. Daniel J. Gilman (1993). Optimization and Simplicity: Marr's Theory of Vision and Biological Explanation. Synthese 107 (3):293-323.score: 15.0
     
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  32. John Reed (2010). Elegant Simplicity: Reflections on an Alternative Way of Being. Calder Walker.score: 15.0
  33. Jerome M. Segal (1999). Graceful Simplicity: Toward a Philosophy and Politics of Simple Living. H. Holt & Co..score: 15.0
     
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  34. Elliott Sober, What is the Problem of Simplicity?score: 12.0
    The problem of simplicity involves three questions: How is the simplicity of a hypothesis to be measured? How is the use of simplicity as a guide to hypothesis choice to be justified? And how is simplicity related to other desirable features of hypotheses -- that is, how is simplicity to be traded-off? The present paper explores these three questions, from a variety of viewpoints, including Bayesianism, likelihoodism, and the framework of predictive accuracy formulated by Akaike (...)
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  35. John MacFarlane (2011). Simplicity Made Difficult. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 156 (3):441 - 448.score: 12.0
    Simplicity made difficult Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9626-9 Authors John MacFarlane, Department of Philosophy, University of California, 314 Moses Hall #2390, Berkeley, CA 94720-2390, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  36. Jeffrey E. Brower (2008). Making Sense of Divine Simplicity. Faith and Philosophy 25 (1):3-30.score: 12.0
    According to the doctrine of divine simplicity, God is an absolutely simple being lacking any distinct metaphysical parts, properties, or constituents. Although this doctrine was once an essential part of traditional philosophical theology, it is now widely rejected as incoherent. In this paper, I develop an interpretation of the doctrine designed to resolve contemporary concerns about its coherence, as well as to show precisely what is required to make sense of divine simplicity.
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  37. Simone Gozzano (2008). Tropes' Simplicity and Mental Causation. Ontos Verlag.score: 12.0
    In this paper I first try to clarify the essential features of tropes and then I use the resulting analysis to cope with the problem of mental causation. As to the first step, I argue that tropes, beside being essentially particular and abstract, are simple, where such a simplicity can be considered either from a phenomenal point of view or from a structural point of view. Once this feature is spelled out, the role tropes may play in solving the (...)
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  38. Jeffrey E. Brower (2009). Simplicity and Aseity. In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press.score: 12.0
    There is a traditional theistic doctrine, known as the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is an absolutely simple being, completely devoid of any metaphysical complexity. On the standard understanding of this doctrine—as epitomized in the work of philosophers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas—there are no distinctions to be drawn between God and his nature, goodness, power, or wisdom. On the contrary, God is identical with each of these things, along with anything else that can be (...)
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  39. Oliver D. Crisp (2003). Jonathan Edwards on Divine Simplicity. Religious Studies 39 (1):23-41.score: 12.0
    In this article I assess the coherence of Jonathan Edwards's doctrine of divine simplicity as an instance of an actus purus account of perfect-being theology. Edwards's view is an idiosyncratic version of this doctrine. This is due to a number of factors including his idealism and the Trinitarian context from which he developed his notion of simplicity. These complicating factors lead to a number of serious problems for his account, particularly with respect to the opera extra sunt indivisa (...)
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  40. Roger White (2005). Why Favour Simplicity? Analysis 65 (287):205–210.score: 12.0
    Among theories which fit all of our data, we prefer the simpler over the more complex. Why? Surely not merely for practical convenience or aesthetic pleasure. But how could we be justified in this preference without knowing in advance that the world is more likely to be simple than complex? And isn’t this a rather extravagant a priori assumption to make? I want to suggest some steps we can take toward reducing this embarrassment, by showing that the assumption which supports (...)
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  41. Timothy O'Connor (1999). Simplicity and Creation. Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):405-412.score: 12.0
    According to many philosophical theologians, God is metaphysically simple: there is no real distinction among His attributes or even between attribute and existence itself. Here, I consider only one argument against the simplicity thesis. Its proponents claim that simplicity is incompatible with God's having created another world, since simplicity entails that God is unchanging across possible worlds. For, they argue, different acts of creation involve different willings, which are distinct intrinsic states. I show that this is (...)
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  42. Lynne Spellman (2011). Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):117-118.score: 12.0
    In this study, Andrew Radde-Gallwitz argues that Basil and Gregory develop an understanding of divine simplicity which does not require that God be identical with the properties of God or that these be identical with one another. Their motivation is that they want to hold that we cannot, in all eternity, know God's essence and yet that we have knowledge of God. Radde-Gallwitz argues that, for Basil and especially Gregory, in addition to our "conceptualizations" (epinoiai), we also have knowledge (...)
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  43. Joshua Spencer (2013). Strong Composition as Identity and Simplicity. Erkenntnis 78 (5):1177-1184.score: 12.0
    The general composition question asks “what are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any xs and any y must satisfy in order for it to be true that those xs compose that y?” Although this question has received little attention, there is an interesting and theoretically fruitful answer. Namely, strong composition as identity (SCAI): necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are identical to y. SCAI is theoretically fruitful because if it is true, (...)
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  44. D. J. (2000). `Nature is the Realisation of the Simplest Conceivable Mathematical Ideas': Einstein and the Canon of Mathematical Simplicity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 31 (2):135-170.score: 12.0
    Einstein proclaimed that we could discover true laws of nature by seeking those with the simplest mathematical formulation. He came to this viewpoint later in his life. In his early years and work he was quite hostile to this idea. Einstein did not develop his later Platonism from a priori reasoning or aesthetic considerations. He learned the canon of mathematical simplicity from his own experiences in the discovery of new theories, most importantly, his discovery of general relativity. Through his (...)
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  45. Graham Oppy (2003). The Devilish Complexities of Divine Simplicity. Philo 6 (1):10-22.score: 12.0
    In On the Nature and Existence of God, Richard Gale follows majority opinion in giving very short shrift to the doctrine of divine simplicity: in his view, there is no coherent expressible doctrine of divine simplicity. Rising to the implicit challenge, I argue that---contrary to what is widely believed---there is a coherently expressible doctrine of divine simplicity, though it is rather different from the views that are typically expressed by defenders of this doctrine. At the very least, (...)
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  46. J. Woodward (2014). Simplicity in the Best Systems Account of Laws of Nature. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):91-123.score: 12.0
    This article discusses the role of simplicity and the notion of a best balance of simplicity and strength within the best systems account (BSA) of laws of nature. The article explores whether there is anything in scientific practice that corresponds to the notion of simplicity or to the trade-off between simplicity and strength to which the BSA appeals. Various theoretical rationales for simplicity preferences and their bearing on the identification of laws are also explored. It (...)
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  47. David L. Dowe, Steve Gardner & and Graham Oppy (2007). Bayes Not Bust! Why Simplicity Is No Problem for Bayesians. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):709 - 754.score: 12.0
    The advent of formal definitions of the simplicity of a theory has important implications for model selection. But what is the best way to define simplicity? Forster and Sober ([1994]) advocate the use of Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC), a non-Bayesian formalisation of the notion of simplicity. This forms an important part of their wider attack on Bayesianism in the philosophy of science. We defend a Bayesian alternative: the simplicity of a theory is to be characterised in (...)
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  48. Peter Pagin (2006). The Status of Charity II: Charity, Probability, and Simplicity. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):361 – 383.score: 12.0
    Treating the principle of charity as a non-empirical, foundational principle leads to insoluble problems of justification. I suggest instead treating semantic properties realistically, and semantic terms as theoretical terms. This allows us to apply ordinary scientific reasoning in meta-semantics. In particular, we can appeal to widespread verbal agreement as an empirical phenomenon, and we can make use of probabilistic reasoning as well as appeal to theoretical simplicity for reaching the conclusion that there is a high rate of agreement in (...)
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  49. Peter Turney (1991). A Note on Popper's Equation of Simplicity with Falsifiability. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (1):105-109.score: 12.0
    Karl Popper equates simplicity with falsifiability. He develops his argument for this equation through a geometrical example. There is a flaw in his example, which undermines his claim that simplicity is falsifiability. I point out the flaw here.
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  50. Bruce Edmonds, Simplicity is Not Truth-Indicative.score: 12.0
    In this paper I will argue that, in general, where the evidence supports two theories equally, the simpler theory is not more likely to be true and is not likely to be nearer the truth. In other words simplicity does not tell us anything about model bias. Our preference for simpler theories (apart from their obvious pragmatic advantages) can be explained by the facts that humans are known to elaborate unsuccessful theories rather than attempt a thorough revision and that (...)
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