Probability and the Explanatory Virtues: Figure 1


Authors
Clark Glymour
Carnegie Mellon University
Abstract
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 measures do not provide useful methods for selecting hypotheses. 1. Introduction2. Some Proposed Measures of Explanatory Virtues3. Descriptive Inadequacy3.1 Excellent but false explanations3.2 Causal explanation4. Psychological Inadequacy5. Finding the Truth6. Conclusion
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axt051
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Explanatory Power.Jonah N. Schupbach & Jan Sprenger - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (1):105-127.
A Probabilistic Theory of Coherence.Branden Fitelson - 2003 - Analysis 63 (3):194–199.
A Probabilistic Theory of Coherence.B. Fitelson - 2003 - Analysis 63 (3):194-199.

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Citations of this work BETA

On the Evidential Import of Unification.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):92-114.

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