Related

Contents
334 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 334
  1. The Simplicity of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - manuscript
    Physical laws are strikingly simple, although there is no a priori reason they must be so. I propose that nomic realists of all types (Humeans and non-Humeans) should accept that simplicity is a fundamental epistemic guide for discovering and evaluating candidate physical laws. This principle of simplicity clarifies and addresses several problems of nomic realism and simplicity. A consequence is that the oft-cited epistemic advantage of Humeanism over non-Humeanism disappears, undercutting an influential epistemological argument for Humeanism. Moreover, simplicity is shown (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  2. When Occam's Razor Cuts too Deep.Marco Masi - manuscript
    Occam’s razor is frequently considered to be a cornerstone of the scientific method. Indeed, it was and remains a valuable tool for scientific and philosophical inquiry. However, we provided an overview of some historical instances in which it led science away from a reasonable and sound heuristic approach. Some words of caution are necessary to clarify how, contrary to common belief, a too strict adherence to such a principle did not guarantee scientific rigor but, rather, obstructed further progress.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Note on simplicity and statistical explanations of correlations.Chrysovalantis Stergiou - manuscript
    In this note, I discuss the simplicity of rival statistical explanations of a correlation, couched in terms of Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems. Simplicity is analyzed in two components, the so-called intrinsic and contextual simplicity. I show that if one disentangles simplicity from explanatory power then the size of the system provides an adequate for simplicity in both of its dimensions.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. Minimum message length as a truth-conducive simplicity measure.Steve Petersen - manuscript
    given at the 2007 Formal Epistemology Workshop at Carnegie Mellon June 2nd. Good compression must track higher vs lower probability of inputs, and this is one way to approach how simplicity tracks truth.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5. Pennywise Parsimony: Langland-Hassan on Imagination.Neil Van Leeuwen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    This essay discusses Peter Langland-Hassan's approach to "explaining imagination" as it plays out in his recent book of that title. Langland-Hassan offers a theory of “attitude imagining” that avoids positing what he calls a “sui generis cognitive attitude.” This theory attempts to explain things like pretend play, hypothetical reasoning, and cognition of fiction; to explain them using only (what he calls) more “basic” mental states like beliefs and desires; and thus to explain them without positing a distinct cognitive attitude of (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. Moving Targets and Models of Nothing: A New Sense of Abstraction for Philosophy of Science.Michael T. Stuart & Anatolii Kozlov - 2024 - In Chiara Ambrosio & Julia Sánchez-Dorado (eds.), Abstraction in science and art: philosophical perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge.
    As Nelson Goodman highlighted, there are two main senses of “abstract” that can be found in discussions about abstract art. On the one hand, a representation is abstract if it leaves out certain features of its target. On the other hand, something can be abstract to the extent that it does not represent a concrete subject. The first sense of “abstract” is well-known in philosophy of science. For example, philosophers discuss mathematical models of physical, biological, and economic systems as being (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7. Theoretical virtues and the methodological analogy between science and metaphysics.Andrew Brenner - 2023 - Synthese 201 (2):1-19.
    Metaphysicians often claim that some metaphysical theory should (or shouldn’t) be believed because it exhibits (or fails to exhibit) theoretical virtues such as simplicity. Metaphysicians also sometimes claim that the legitimacy of these sorts of appeals to theoretical virtues are vindicated by the similar appeals to theoretical virtues which scientists make in scientific theory choice. One objection to this methodological move is to claim that the metaphysician misdescribes the role that theoretical virtues play within science. In this paper I defend (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8. A Dilemma for Solomonoff Prediction.Sven Neth - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (2):288-306.
    The framework of Solomonoff prediction assigns prior probability to hypotheses inversely proportional to their Kolmogorov complexity. There are two well-known problems. First, the Solomonoff prior is relative to a choice of Universal Turing machine. Second, the Solomonoff prior is not computable. However, there are responses to both problems. Different Solomonoff priors converge with more and more data. Further, there are computable approximations to the Solomonoff prior. I argue that there is a tension between these two responses. This is because computable (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  9. Simple Models in Complex Worlds: Occam’s Razor and Statistical Learning Theory.Falco J. Bargagli Stoffi, Gustavo Cevolani & Giorgio Gnecco - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (1):13-42.
    The idea that “simplicity is a sign of truth”, and the related “Occam’s razor” principle, stating that, all other things being equal, simpler models should be preferred to more complex ones, have been long discussed in philosophy and science. We explore these ideas in the context of supervised machine learning, namely the branch of artificial intelligence that studies algorithms which balance simplicity and accuracy in order to effectively learn about the features of the underlying domain. Focusing on statistical learning theory, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  10. Inference to the Best Explanation - An Overview.Frank Cabrera - 2022 - In Lorenzo Magnani (ed.), Handbook of Abductive Cognition. Cham: Springer. pp. 1-34.
    In this article, I will provide a critical overview of the form of non-deductive reasoning commonly known as “Inference to the Best Explanation” (IBE). Roughly speaking, according to IBE, we ought to infer the hypothesis that provides the best explanation of our evidence. In section 2, I survey some contemporary formulations of IBE and highlight some of its putative applications. In section 3, I distinguish IBE from C.S. Peirce’s notion of abduction. After underlining some of the essential elements of IBE, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  11. How Simple is the Humean Theory of Motivation?Olof Leffler - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (2):125-140.
    In recent discussions of the Humean Theory of Motivation (HTM), several authors – not to mention other philosophers around the proverbial water cooler – have appealed to the simplicity of the theory to defend it. But the argument from simplicity has rarely been explicated or received much critical attention – until now. I begin by reconstructing the argument and then argue that it suffers from a number of problems. Most importantly, first, I argue that HTM is unlikely to be simpler (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  12. Theoretical Virtues in Scientific Practice: An Empirical Study.Moti Mizrahi - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (4):879-902.
    It is a common view among philosophers of science that theoretical virtues (also known as epistemic or cognitive values), such as simplicity and consistency, play an important role in scientific practice. In this article, I set out to study the role that theoretical virtues play in scientific practice empirically. I apply the methods of data science, such as text mining and corpus analysis, to study large corpora of scientific texts in order to uncover patterns of usage. These patterns of usage, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  13. Space, time and parsimony.Daniel Nolan - 2022 - Noûs 57 (4):763-783.
    This paper argues that all of the standard theories about the divisions of space and time can benefit from, and may need to rely on, parsimony considerations. More specifically, whether spacetime is discrete, gunky or pointy, there are wildly unparsimonious rivals to standard accounts that need to be resisted by proponents of those accounts, and only parsimony considerations offer a natural way of doing that resisting. Furthermore, quantitative parsimony considerations appear to be needed in many of these cases.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  14. A Case for Conservative Ontology Development in Scientific Metaphysics.Sahana Rajan - 2022 - Philosophical Inquiries 1 (10):9-24.
    Over the past decade, in contrast to the traditional analytic version of metaphysics, a brand of metaphysics that prioritizes collaboration and corroboration with sciences has emerged in the form of scientific metaphysics. While there has been a shift from the methodological dependence of analytic metaphysis on intuition, and conceptual analysis to the methodological preference for empirically-motivated metaphysical insights in scientific metaphysics, such a shift has not penetrated the foundational aims. Scientific metaphysics continues to probe the nature and structure of reality, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. Ideological innocence.Daniel Rubio - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-22.
    Quine taught us the difference between a theory’s ontology and its ideology. Ontology is the things a theory’s quantifiers must range over if it is true, Ideology is the primitive concepts that must be used to state the theory. This allows us to split the theoretical virtue of parsimony into two kinds: ontological parsimony and ideological parsimony. My goal is help illuminate the virtue of ideological parsimony by giving a criterion for ideological innocence—a rule for when additional ideology does not (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  16. Theoretical Virtues: Do Scientists Think What Philosophers Think They Ought to Think?Samuel Schindler - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):542-564.
    Theoretical virtues play an important role in the acceptance and belief of theories in science and philosophy. Philosophers have well-developed views on which virtues ought and ought not to influence one’s acceptance and belief. But what do scientists think? This paper presents the results of a quantitative study with scientists from the natural and social sciences and compares their views to those held by philosophers. Some of the more surprising results are: all three groups have a preference order regarding theoretical (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  17. Methodology Maximized: Quine on Empiricism, Naturalism, and Empirical Content.James Andrew Smith - 2022 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 60 (4):661-686.
    W. V. Quine calls some general methods of science maxims: general defeasible principles that call on us to approximate, maximize, or minimize a state and that are interpreted and weighed in context-sensitive ways. On my reading, his empiricism asks us to maximize accepting overall theories empirically equivalent to ours but to minimize accepting sentences that both do not affect the empirical content of our overall theory and do not simplify our overall theory. His naturalism asks us to maximize accepting sentences (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18. Laws of Nature and Theory Choice.Alessandro Torza - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-28.
    I articulate a Global Best-System Account (GBSA) of laws of nature along broadly Mill–Ramsey–Lewis lines. The guiding idea is that the job of laws is to capture real patterns across time—where a pattern is real if it allows to compress information about matters of particular fact. The GBSA’s key ingredient is a definition of ‘best system’ in terms of a ranking method that meets a number of desiderata: it is rigorously defined; it outputs the ranking based on the candidate systems’ (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19. Biocentric Individualism and Biodiversity Conservation: An Argument from Parsimony.Patrik Baard - 2021 - Environmental Values 30 (1):93-110.
    This article argues that holistic ecocentrism unnecessarily introduces elements to explain why we ought to halt biodiversity loss. I suggest that atomistic accounts can justify the same conclusion by utilising fewer elements. Hence, why we ought to preserve biodiversity can be made reasonable without adding elements such as intrinsic values of ecosystems or moral obligations to conserve collectives of organisms. Between two equally good explanations of the same phenomenon, the explanation utilising fewer elements, which speaks in favour of atomistic accounts, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  20. Judgments of Beauty in Theory Evaluation.Devon Brickhouse-Bryson - 2021 - Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.
    The role of judgments of beauty in scientific theory evaluation is the subject of significant debate in contemporary philosophy of science. This book advances that debate by broadening its scope. In Judgments of Beauty in Theory Evaluation, the author argues that judgments of beauty are a justified part of theory evaluation of all sorts: not only scientific theory evaluation, but also philosophical theory evaluation. The author argues for this thesis by providing an account of beauty—inherited from Kant and Mothersill—on which (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  21. Why Simpler Computer Simulation Models Can Be Epistemically Better for Informing Decisions.Casey Helgeson, Vivek Srikrishnan, Klaus Keller & Nancy Tuana - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (2):213-233.
    For computer simulation models to usefully inform climate risk management, uncertainties in model projections must be explored and characterized. Because doing so requires running the model many ti...
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  22. Classical Form or Modern Scientific Rationalization? Nietzsche on the Drive to Ordered Thought as Apollonian Power and Socratic Pathology.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 52 (1):105-134.
    Nietzsche sometimes praises the drive to order—to simplify, organize, and draw clear boundaries—as expressive of a vital "classical" style, or an Apollonian artistic drive to calmly contemplate forms displaying "epic definiteness and clarity." But he also sometimes harshly criticizes order, as in the pathological dialectics or "logical schematism" that he associates paradigmatically with Socrates. I challenge a tradition that interprets Socratism as an especially one-sided expression of, or restricted form of attention to, the Apollonian: they are more radically disparate. Beyond (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  23. Theoretical virtues and theorizing in physics: against the instrumentalist view of simplicity.Mousa Mohammadian - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4819-4828.
    I argue that if simplicity is a theoretical virtue and some theoretical virtues are the constituents of the aims of theorizing in physics—i.e., theory choice and theory development in physics—and scientific rationality is instrumental rationality, then simplicity cannot be a mere means to achieve the aims. I do this by showing that considering simplicity as a mere means brings about counterintuitive ramifications concerning scientific rationality. These counterintuitive ramifications can be avoided if we consider simplicity a constituent of the aims of (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  24. Telling Stories in Science: Feyerabend and Thought Experiments.Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):262-281.
    The history of the philosophy of thought experiments has touched on the work of Kuhn, Popper, Duhem, Mach, Lakatos, and other big names of the 20th century, but so far, almost nothing has been written about Paul Feyerabend. His most influential work was Against Method, 8 chapters of which concern a case study of Galileo with a specific focus on Galileo’s thought experiments. In addition, the later Feyerabend was very interested in what might be called the epistemology of drama, including (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  25. Chomsky in the playground: Idealization in generative linguistics.Giulia Terzian - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87 (C):1-12.
    For a long time, the accepted explanatory model of language acquisition was the so-called Principles and Parameters framework (P&P). P&P seemingly provides an elegant answer to the central puzzle of generative linguistics: How do children acquire their native language given the limited time and input resources available to them? Yet P&P tells a story that is evolutionarily implausible, and for this reason it has since been abandoned. I argue that this is an unwarranted move, and that it could and should (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  26. The Two Blades of Occam's Razor in Economics: Logical and Heuristic.Giandomenica Becchio - 2020 - Economic Thought 9 (1):1.
    This paper is part of the general debate about the need to rethink economics as a human discipline using a heuristic to describe its object, about the need to explicitly reject the positivistic approach in neoclassical economics, and about the urgency to adopt a different methodology, grounded on a realistic set of initial assumptions able to cope with the complexity of the decision making process. The aim of this paper is to show the use of Occam's razor in the economic (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  27. The structure of epistemic probabilities.Nevin Climenhaga - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3213-3242.
    The epistemic probability of A given B is the degree to which B evidentially supports A, or makes A plausible. This paper is a first step in answering the question of what determines the values of epistemic probabilities. I break this question into two parts: the structural question and the substantive question. Just as an object’s weight is determined by its mass and gravitational acceleration, some probabilities are determined by other, more basic ones. The structural question asks what probabilities are (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   18 citations  
  28. Why Ockham’s Razor should be preferred to the Laser.Dean Da Vee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3679-3694.
    Ockham’s Razor advises us to not multiply entities without necessity. Recently, Jonathan Schaffer and Karen Bennett have argued that we ought to replace Ockham’s Razor with the Laser, the principle that only advises us to not multiply fundamental entities without necessity. In this paper, I argue that Ockham’s Razor is preferable to the Laser. I begin by contending that the arguments offered for the Laser by Schaffer and Bennett are unpersuasive. Then I offer two cases of theory assessment that I (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  29. PAC Learning and Occam’s Razor: Probably Approximately Incorrect.Daniel A. Herrmann - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (4):685-703.
    Computer scientists have provided a distinct justification of Occam’s Razor. Using the probably approximately correct framework, they provide a theorem that they claim demonstrates that we should favor simpler hypotheses. The argument relies on a philosophical interpretation of the theorem. I argue that the standard interpretation of the result in the literature is misguided and that a better reading does not, in fact, support Occam’s Razor at all. To this end, I state and prove a very similar theorem that, if (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  30. Cómo afilar tu navaja nueva: un principio de parsimonia ideológica para argumentar en metafísica.Óscar Antonio Monroy Pérez - 2020 - Dissertation, National Autonomous University of Mexico
    En metafísica contemporánea, es común trabajar bajo una metodología basada en virtudes teóricas. En caso de disputa, esta metodología nos aconseja elegir la teoría que mejor satisfaga las virtudes teóricas estándar: precisión empírica, fecundidad, poder unificador, consistencia y simplicidad. Sin embargo, no hay consenso sobre cómo deben frasearse tales virtudes, ni sobre cómo ponderarlas. Aquí me concentraré en ofrecer razones a favor de una manera de frasear el principio de parsimonia ideológica, una especie de simplicidad. Defiendo que dicho principio debería (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  31. The Intrinsic Probability of Grand Explanatory Theories.Ted Poston - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (4):401-420.
    This paper articulates a way to ground a relatively high prior probability for grand explanatory theories apart from an appeal to simplicity. I explore the possibility of enumerating the space of plausible grand theories of the universe by using the explanatory properties of possible views to limit the number of plausible theories. I motivate this alternative grounding by showing that Swinburne’s appeal to simplicity is problematic along several dimensions. I then argue that there are three plausible grand views—theism, atheism, and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  32. Unification and the Myth of Purely Reductive Understanding.Michael J. Shaffer - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:142-168.
    In this paper significant challenges are raised with respect to the view that explanation essentially involves unification. These objections are raised specifically with respect to the well-known versions of unificationism developed and defended by Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher. The objections involve the explanatory regress argument and the concepts of reduction and scientific understanding. Essentially, the contention made here is that these versions of unificationism wrongly assume that reduction secures understanding.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  33. Simplicity of what? A case study from generative linguistics.Giulia Terzian & María Inés Corbalán - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9427-9452.
    The Minimalist Program in generative linguistics is predicated on the idea that simplicity is a defining property of the human language faculty, on the one hand; on the other, a central aim of linguistic theorising. Worryingly, however, justifications for either claim are hard to come by in the literature. We sketch a proposal that would allow for both shortcomings to be addressed, and that furthermore honours the program’s declared commitment to naturalism. We begin by teasing apart and clarifying the different (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  34. Two conceptions of the sources of conservatism in scientific research.Baptiste Bedessem - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):1-18.
    The issue of the conservatism of scientific research questions the nature and the role of the internal and external forces controlling the emergence of new research questions or problems, the exploration of risky directions of research, or the use of risky research methods. This issue has recently gained a new framing in connection with the growing importance of the peer-review process and of the social and economic pressures weighing on the funding of scientific research. Current literature then interrogates the external (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  35. An Automatic Ockham’s Razor for Bayesians?Gordon Belot - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1361-1367.
    It is sometimes claimed that the Bayesian framework automatically implements Ockham’s razor—that conditionalizing on data consistent with both a simple theory and a complex theory more or less inevitably favours the simpler theory. It is shown here that the automatic razor doesn’t in fact cut it for certain mundane curve-fitting problems.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  36. A review of 'Theoretical virtues in science' by S. Schindler. [REVIEW]Darren Bradley - 2019 - Metascience 28 (2):261-264.
  37. Naturalness of Properties and Simplicity of Theories.Matej Drobňák - 2019 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 41 (1):3-19.
    In this paper, I discuss a specific approach to measuring and comparing the simplicity of theories that is based on Lewis’s notion of fundamental properties. In particular, I discuss the criterion of simplicity as stated by Williams. According to Williams, the best candidate for a theory is the one which has the shortest definition in terms of fundamental properties. The aim of this paper is to show that the criterion thus specified has two constraints. First, the criterion is not applicable (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  38. Acquaintance, Parsimony, and Epiphenomenalism.Brie Gertler - 2019 - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 62-86.
    Some physicalists (Balog 2012, Howell 2013), and most dualists, endorse the acquaintance response to the Knowledge Argument. This is the claim that Mary gains substantial new knowledge, upon leaving the room, because phenomenal knowledge requires direct acquaintance with phenomenal properties. The acquaintance response is an especially promising way to make sense of the Mary case. I argue that it casts doubt on two claims often made on behalf of physicalism, regarding parsimony and mental causation. I show that those who endorse (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  39. A Scientific Metaphysics and Ockham’s Razor.Bruce Long - 2019 - Axiomathes (5):1-31.
    I argue that although Ockham’s Razor (OR) has its origins in a-priorist ontological mandates according to the purposes of natural theology and natural philosophy as influenced by it, the principle has taken on significant empirical and contingent materialist connotations and conceptual content since the scientific revolution. I briefly discuss the pluralism of the concept of OR historically and in contemporary science and philosophy. I then attempt to align scientific metaphysics with contemporary conceptions of OR, and to demonstrate that ontic parsimony (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  40. Understanding The Principle of Simplicity of Science from The Science of Complexity.Yiqin Lu - 2019 - Journal of Human Cognition 3 (2):21-29.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  41. A Simplicity Criterion for Physical Computation.Tyler Millhouse - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):153-178.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a formal criterion for physical computation that allows us to objectively distinguish between competing computational interpretations of a physical system. The criterion construes a computational interpretation as an ordered pair of functions mapping (1) states of a physical system to states of an abstract machine, and (2) inputs to this machine to interventions in this physical system. This interpretation must ensure that counterfactuals true of the abstract machine have appropriate counterparts which are (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   14 citations  
  42. New Water in Old Buckets: Hypothetical and Counterfactual Reasoning in Mach’s Economy of Science.Lydia Patton - 2019 - In Friedrich Stadler (ed.), Ernst Mach – Life, Work, Influence. Springer Verlag.
    Ernst Mach’s defense of relativist theories of motion in Die Mechanik involves a well-known criticism of Newton’s theory appealing to absolute space, and of Newton’s “bucket” experiment. Sympathetic readers (Norton 1995) and critics (Stein 1967, 1977) agree that there’s a tension in Mach’s view: he allows for some constructed scientific concepts, but not others, and some kinds of reasoning about unobserved phenomena, but not others. Following Banks (2003), I argue that this tension can be interpreted as a constructive one, springing (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  43. Composition as pattern.Steve Petersen - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1119-1139.
    I argue for patternism, a new answer to the question of when some objects compose a whole. None of the standard principles of composition comfortably capture our natural judgments, such as that my cat exists and my table exists, but there is nothing wholly composed of them. Patternism holds, very roughly, that some things compose a whole whenever together they form a “real pattern”. Plausibly we are inclined to acknowledge the existence of my cat and my table but not of (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  44. Essays in Formal Metaphysics.Daniel Rubio - 2019 - Dissertation, Rutgers - New Brunswick
  45. Causal Learning with Occam’s Razor.Oliver Schulte - 2019 - Studia Logica 107 (5):991-1023.
    Occam’s razor directs us to adopt the simplest hypothesis consistent with the evidence. Learning theory provides a precise definition of the inductive simplicity of a hypothesis for a given learning problem. This definition specifies a learning method that implements an inductive version of Occam’s razor. As a case study, we apply Occam’s inductive razor to causal learning. We consider two causal learning problems: learning a causal graph structure that presents global causal connections among a set of domain variables, and learning (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  46. Bayesian Philosophy of Science.Jan Sprenger & Stephan Hartmann - 2019 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
    How should we reason in science? Jan Sprenger and Stephan Hartmann offer a refreshing take on classical topics in philosophy of science, using a single key concept to explain and to elucidate manifold aspects of scientific reasoning. They present good arguments and good inferences as being characterized by their effect on our rational degrees of belief. Refuting the view that there is no place for subjective attitudes in 'objective science', Sprenger and Hartmann explain the value of convincing evidence in terms (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   38 citations  
  47. Do Not Revise Ockham's Razor Without Necessity.Sam Baron & Jonathan Tallant - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):596-619.
    Ockham's razor asks that we not multiply entities beyond necessity. The razor is a powerful methodological tool, enabling us to articulate reasons for preferring one theory to another. There are those, however, who would modify the razor. Schaffer, for one, tells us that, ‘I think the proper rendering of Ockham's razor should be ‘Do not multiply fundamental entities without necessity’’. Our aim, here, is to challenge such re-workings of Ockham's razor.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  48. Bayesian Occam's Razor Is a Razor of the People.Thomas Blanchard, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (4):1345-1359.
    Occam's razor—the idea that all else being equal, we should pick the simpler hypothesis—plays a prominent role in ordinary and scientific inference. But why are simpler hypotheses better? One attractive hypothesis known as Bayesian Occam's razor is that more complex hypotheses tend to be more flexible—they can accommodate a wider range of possible data—and that flexibility is automatically penalized by Bayesian inference. In two experiments, we provide evidence that people's intuitive probabilistic and explanatory judgments follow the prescriptions of BOR. In (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  49. Philosophers should prefer simpler theories.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3049-3067.
    Should philosophers prefer simpler theories? Huemer (Philos Q 59:216–236, 2009) argues that the reasons to prefer simpler theories in science do not apply in philosophy. I will argue that Huemer is mistaken—the arguments he marshals for preferring simpler theories in science can also be applied in philosophy. Like Huemer, I will focus on the philosophy of mind and the nominalism/Platonism debate. But I want to engage with the broader issue of whether simplicity is relevant to philosophy.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  50. The Frugal Inference of Causal Relations.Malcolm Forster, Garvesh Raskutti, Reuben Stern & Naftali Weinberger - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):821-848.
    Recent approaches to causal modelling rely upon the causal Markov condition, which specifies which probability distributions are compatible with a directed acyclic graph. Further principles are required in order to choose among the large number of DAGs compatible with a given probability distribution. Here we present a principle that we call frugality. This principle tells one to choose the DAG with the fewest causal arrows. We argue that frugality has several desirable properties compared to the other principles that have been (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
1 — 50 / 334