Metaphysica 12 (2):87-100 (2011)

Authors
Craig DeLancey
State University of New York at Oswego
Abstract
Many scholars claim that a parsimony principle has ontological implications. The most common such claim is that a parsimony principle entails that the “world” is simple. This ontological claim appears to often be coupled with the assumption that a parsimony principle would be corroborated if the “world” were simple. I clarify these claims, describe some minimal features of simplicity, and then show that both these claims are either false or they depend upon an implausible notion of simplicity. In their stead, I propose a minimal ontological claim: a parsimony principle entails a minimal realism about the existence of objects and laws, in order to allow that the descriptions of the relevant phenomena contain patterns
Keywords Parsimony  Simplicity  Complexity  Ontology
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DOI 10.1007/s12133-011-0078-2
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Raimund Popper - 1934 - London, England: Routledge.
The Analysis of Mind.Bertrand Russell - 1921 - Duke University Press.
Simplicity.Elliott Sober - 1975 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Simplicity as Evidence of Truth.Richard Swinburne - 1997 - Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Systematizing the Theoretical Virtues.Michael Keas - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2761-2793.
Ontological Parsimony, Erosion, and Conservatism.Thomas Metcalf - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (4-5):700-718.

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