Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):216-236 (2009)

Authors
Michael Huemer
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
Parsimony is a virtue of empirical theories. Is it also a virtue of philosophical theories? I review four contemporary accounts of the virtue of parsimony in empirical theorizing, and consider how each might apply to two prominent appeals to parsimony in the philosophical literature, those made on behalf of physicalism and on behalf of nominalism. None of the accounts of the virtue of parsimony extends naturally to either of these philosophical cases. This suggests that in typical philosophical contexts, ontological simplicity has no evidential value.
Keywords parsimony  simplicity  occam's razor
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2008.569.x
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.

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Citations of this work BETA

Non‐Humean Theories of Natural Necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):1-1.
Explanatory Consolidation: From 'Best' to 'Good Enough'.Finnur Dellsén - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
What Not to Multiply Without Necessity.Jonathan Schaffer - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):644-664.
Dynamic Humeanism.Michael Townsen Hicks - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):983-1007.
Quantitative Parsimony: Probably for the Better.Lina Jansson & Jonathan Tallant - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3):781–803.

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