Synthese 194 (4):1295-1302 (2017)

The no miracles argument is one of the main arguments for scientific realism. Recently it has been alleged that the no miracles argument is fundamentally flawed because it commits the base rate fallacy. The allegation is based on the idea that the appeal of the no miracles argument arises from inappropriate neglect of the base rate of approximate truth among the relevant population of theories. However, the base rate fallacy allegation relies on an assumption of random sampling of individuals from the population which cannot be made in the case of the no miracles argument. Therefore the base rate fallacy objection to the no miracles argument fails. I distinguish between a “local” and a “global” form of the no miracles argument. The base rate fallacy objection has been leveled at the local version. I argue that the global argument plays a key role in supporting a base-rate-fallacy-free formulation of the local version of the argument.
Keywords No miracles argument  Scientific realism  Base rate fallacy   Base rate neglect
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0995-7
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References found in this work BETA

A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
On the Psychology of Prediction.Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky - 1973 - Psychological Review 80 (4):237-251.

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Should Scientific Realists Embrace Theoretical Conservatism?Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:30-38.
Error Management, Reliability and Cognitive Evolution.Bengt Autzen - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):935-950.
Kuhnian Theory-Choice and Virtue Convergence: Facing the Base Rate Fallacy.Samuel Schindler - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 64:30-37.

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