Philosophy of Science 45 (2):273-288 (1978)

Evan Fales
University of Iowa
Theoretical simplicity is difficult to characterize, and evidently can depend upon a number of distinct factors. One such desirable characteristic is that the laws of a theory have relatively few "counterinstances" whose accommodation requires the invocation of a ceteris paribus condition and ancillary explanation. It is argued that, when one theory is reduced to another, such that the laws of the second govern the behavior of the parts of the entities in the domain of the first, there is a characteristic gain in simplicity of the sort mentioned: while I see no way of quantitatively measuring the "amount" of defeasibility of the laws of a theory, microreduction can be shown to decrease that "amount."
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/288800
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,968
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Induction and Reasoning to the Best Explanation.R. A. Fumerton - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (4):589-600.
Relative Essentialism.Evan Fales - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (4):349-370.
Reasons, Causes, and the 'Strong Programme' in the Sociology of Knowledge.Warren Schmaus - 1985 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 15 (2):189-196.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
43 ( #232,226 of 2,403,356 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #551,892 of 2,403,356 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes