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Jonah N. Schupbach & Jan Sprenger (2011). The Logic of Explanatory Power.

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  1. Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw008.
    When scientists seek further confirmation of their results, they often attempt to duplicate the results using diverse means. To the extent that they are successful in doing so, their results are said to be robust. This paper investigates the logic of such "robustness analysis" [RA]. The most important and challenging question an account of RA can answer is what sense of evidential diversity is involved in RAs. I argue that prevailing formal explications of such diversity are unsatisfactory. I propose a (...)
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  2.  23
    Two Impossibility Results for Measures of Corroboration.Jan Sprenger - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw016.
    According to influential accounts of scientific method, such as critical rationalism, scientific knowledge grows by repeatedly testing our best hypotheses. But despite the popularity of hypothesis tests in statistical inference and science in general, their philosophical foundations remain shaky. In particular, the interpretation of non-significant results—those that do not reject the tested hypothesis—poses a major philosophical challenge. To what extent do they corroborate the tested hypothesis, or provide a reason to accept it? Popper sought for measures of corroboration that could (...)
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    Rational Relations Between Perception and Belief: The Case of Color.Peter Brössel - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4):721-741.
    The present paper investigates the first step of rational belief acquisition. It, thus, focuses on justificatory relations between perceptual experiences and perceptual beliefs, and between their contents, respectively. In particular, the paper aims at outlining how it is possible to reason from the content of perceptual experiences to the content of perceptual beliefs. The paper thereby approaches this aim by combining a formal epistemology perspective with an eye towards recent advances in philosophy of cognition. Furthermore the paper restricts its focus, (...)
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  4. Inference to the Best Explanation Made Incoherent.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (5):251-273.
    Defenders of Inference to the Best Explanation claim that explanatory factors should play an important role in empirical inference. They disagree, however, about how exactly to formulate this role. In particular, they disagree about whether to formulate IBE as an inference rule for full beliefs or for degrees of belief, as well as how a rule for degrees of belief should relate to Bayesianism. In this essay I advance a new argument against non-Bayesian versions of IBE. My argument focuses on (...)
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  5.  7
    Experimental Philosophy of Explanation Rising: The Case for a Plurality of Concepts of Explanation.Matteo Colombo - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (2):503-517.
    This paper brings together results from the philosophy and the psychology of explanation to argue that there are multiple concepts of explanation in human psychology. Specifically, it is shown that pluralism about explanation coheres with the multiplicity of models of explanation available in the philosophy of science, and it is supported by evidence from the psychology of explanatory judgment. Focusing on the case of a norm of explanatory power, the paper concludes by responding to the worry that if there is (...)
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    Inductive Explanation and Garber–Style Solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence.David Kinney - 2017 - Synthese:1-15.
    The Problem of Old Evidence is a perennial issue for Bayesian confirmation theory. Garber famously argues that the problem can be solved by conditionalizing on the proposition that a hypothesis deductively implies the existence of the old evidence. In recent work, Hartmann and Fitelson :712–717, 2015) and Sprenger :383–401, 2015) aim for similar, but more general, solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. These solutions are more general because they allow the explanatory relationship between a new hypothesis and old evidence (...)
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  7.  51
    Experimental Explication.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):672-710.
    Two recently popular metaphilosophical movements, formal philosophy and experimental philosophy, promote what seem to be conflicting methodologies. Nonetheless, I argue that the two can be mutually supportive. I propose an experimentally-informed variation on explication, a powerful formal philosophical tool introduced by Carnap. The resulting method, which I call “experimental explication,” provides the formalist with a means of responding to explication's gravest criticism. Moreover, this method introduces a philosophically salient, positive role for survey-style experiments while steering clear of several objections that (...)
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  8.  25
    On Three Measures of Explanatory Power with Axiomatic Representations.Michael P. Cohen - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1077-1089.
    Jonah N. Schupbach and Jan Sprenger and Vincenzo Crupi and Katya Tentori have recently proposed measures of explanatory power and have shown that they are characterized by certain arguably desirable conditions or axioms. I further examine the properties of these two measures, and a third measure considered by I. J. Good and Timothy McGrew . This third measure also has an axiomatic representation. I consider a simple coin-tossing example in which only the Crupi–Tentori measure does not perform well. The Schupbach–Sprenger (...)
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  9. On Structural Accounts of Model-Explanations.Martin King - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2761-2778.
    The focus in the literature on scientific explanation has shifted in recent years towards model-based approaches. In recent work, Alisa Bokulich has argued that idealization has a central role to play in explanation. Bokulich claims that certain highly-idealized, structural models can be explanatory, even though they are not considered explanatory by causal, mechanistic, or covering law accounts of explanation. This paper focuses on Bokulich’s account in order to make the more general claim that there are problems with maintaining that a (...)
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    Competing Accounts of Contrastive Coherence.Michael Schippers - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    The proposition that Tweety is a bird coheres better with the proposition that Tweety has wings than with the proposition that Tweety cannot fly. This relationship of contrastive coherence is the focus of the present paper. Based on recent work in formal epistemology we consider various possibilities to model this relationship by means of probability theory. In a second step we consider different applications of these models. Among others, we offer a coherentist interpretation of the conjunction fallacy.
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  11.  33
    Keynes’s Coefficient of Dependence Revisited.Peter Brössel - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):521-553.
    Probabilistic dependence and independence are among the key concepts of Bayesian epistemology. This paper focuses on the study of one specific quantitative notion of probabilistic dependence. More specifically, section 1 introduces Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and shows how it is related to pivotal aspects of scientific reasoning such as confirmation, coherence, the explanatory and unificatory power of theories, and the diversity of evidence. The intimate connection between Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and scientific reasoning raises the question of how Keynes’s coefficient (...)
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  12.  49
    On the Role of Explanatory and Systematic Power in Scientific Reasoning.Peter Brössel - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3877-3913.
    The paper investigates measures of explanatory power and how to define the inference schema “Inference to the Best Explanation”. It argues that these measures can also be used to quantify the systematic power of a hypothesis and the inference schema “Inference to the Best Systematization” is defined. It demonstrates that systematic power is a fruitful criterion for theory choice and IBS is truth-conducive. It also shows that even radical Bayesians must admit that systemic power is an integral component of Bayesian (...)
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    On Schupbach and Sprenger’s Measures of Explanatory Power.Michael P. Cohen - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (1):97-109.
    Jonah N. Schupbach and Jan Sprenger have proposed conditions of adequacy for measures of explanatory power. They derive and defend a measure of explanatory power satisfying their conditions of adequacy. This article furthers the development of their measure. The requirement that the measure be multidimensional analytic is avoided. Several proofs are simplified, and gaps in proofs are filled.
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  14.  59
    Probability and the Explanatory Virtues.Clark Glymour - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):591-604.
    Recent literature in philosophy of science has addressed purported notions of explanatory virtues—‘explanatory power’, ‘unification’, and ‘coherence’. In each case, a probabilistic relation between a theory and data is said to measure the power of an explanation, or degree of unification, or degree of coherence. This essay argues that the measures do not capture cases that are paradigms of scientific explanation, that the available psychological evidence indicates that the measures do not capture judgements of explanatory power, and, finally, that the (...)
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  15. Global Scepticism, Underdetermination and Metaphysical Possibility.Luca Moretti - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):381-403.
    I focus on a key argument for global external world scepticism resting on the underdetermination thesis: the argument according to which we cannot know any proposition about our physical environment because sense evidence for it equally justifies some sceptical alternative (e.g. the Cartesian demon conjecture). I contend that the underdetermination argument can go through only if the controversial thesis that conceivability is per se a source of evidence for metaphysical possibility is true. I also suggest a reason to doubt that (...)
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  16.  31
    Confirmation Measures and Collaborative Belief Updating.Ilho Park - 2014 - Synthese 191 (16):3955-3975.
    There are some candidates that have been thought to measure the degree to which evidence incrementally confirms a hypothesis. This paper provides an argument for one candidate—the log-likelihood ratio measure. For this purpose, I will suggest a plausible requirement that I call the Requirement of Collaboration. And then, it will be shown that, of various candidates, only the log-likelihood ratio measure \(l\) satisfies this requirement. Using this result, Jeffrey conditionalization will be reformulated so as to disclose explicitly what determines new (...)
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  17.  84
    Coherence, Probability and Explanation.William Roche & Michael Schippers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):821-828.
    Recently there have been several attempts in formal epistemology to develop an adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. There is much to recommend probabilistic measures of coherence. They are quantitative and render formally precise a notion—coherence—notorious for its elusiveness. Further, some of them do very well, intuitively, on a variety of test cases. Siebel, however, argues that there can be no adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. Take some set of propositions A, some probabilistic measure of coherence, and a probability distribution such (...)
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  18. Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures.Gregor Betz - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3553-3578.
    This article discusses how inference to the best explanation can be justified as a practical meta - argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in — and relative to — a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a meta - argument. (...)
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  19.  76
    New Axioms for Probability and Likelihood Ratio Measures.V. Crupi, N. Chater & K. Tentori - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):189-204.
    Probability ratio and likelihood ratio measures of inductive support and related notions have appeared as theoretical tools for probabilistic approaches in the philosophy of science, the psychology of reasoning, and artificial intelligence. In an effort of conceptual clarification, several authors have pursued axiomatic foundations for these two families of measures. Such results have been criticized, however, as relying on unduly demanding or poorly motivated mathematical assumptions. We provide two novel theorems showing that probability ratio and likelihood ratio measures can be (...)
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  20.  99
    Degree of Explanation.Robert Northcott - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3087-3105.
    Partial explanations are everywhere. That is, explanations citing causes that explain some but not all of an effect are ubiquitous across science, and these in turn rely on the notion of degree of explanation. I argue that current accounts are seriously deficient. In particular, they do not incorporate adequately the way in which a cause’s explanatory importance varies with choice of explanandum. Using influential recent contrastive theories, I develop quantitative definitions that remedy this lacuna, and relate it to existing measures (...)
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  21.  34
    Philosophy and the Search for Truth.Lloyd Strickland - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):1079-1094.
    Philosophy, as it is understood and practiced in the West, is and has been generally considered to be the search for truth. But even if philosophy is the search for truth, it does not automatically follow that those who are identified as ‘philosophers’ are themselves actually engaged in that search. And indeed, in this paper I argue that many philosophers have in fact not been genuinely engaged in the search for truth (in other words, many philosophers have not been doing (...)
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  22.  37
    A Second Look at the Logic of Explanatory Power (with Two Novel Representation Theorems).Vincenzo Crupi & Katya Tentori - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (3):365-385.
  23.  35
    Thought Experiments, Real Experiments, and the Expertise Objection.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):205-218.
    It is a commonplace that in philosophy, intuitions supply evidence for and against philosophical theories. Recent work in experimental philosophy has brought to bear the intuitions of philosophically naïve subjects in a number of different ways. One line of response to this work has been to claim that philosophers have expertise that privileges their intuitive judgments, and allows them to disregard the judgments of non-experts. This expertise is supposed to be analogous to the expertise of the mathematician or the physicist. (...)
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  24. Four Problems of Abduction: A Brief History.Anya Plutynski - 2011 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-248.
    Debates concerning the character, scope, and warrant of abductive inference have been active since Peirce first proposed that there was a third form of inference, distinct from induction and deduction. Abductive reasoning has been dubbed weak, incoherent, and even nonexistent. Part, at least, of the problem of articulating a clear sense of abductive inference is due to difficulty in interpreting Peirce. Part of the fault must lie with his critics, however. While this article will argue that Peirce indeed left a (...)
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  25.  61
    Comparing Probabilistic Measures of Explanatory Power.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):813-829.
    Recently, in attempting to account for explanatory reasoning in probabilistic terms, Bayesians have proposed several measures of the degree to which a hypothesis explains a given set of facts. These candidate measures of "explanatory power" are shown to have interesting normative interpretations and consequences. What has not yet been investigated, however, is whether any of these measures are also descriptive of people’s actual explanatory judgments. Here, I present my own experimental work investigating this question. I argue that one measure in (...)
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