Explaining the past in the geosciences

Philosophia 36 (4):495-507 (2008)

Abstract
Abductive reasoning is central to reconstructing the past in the geosciences. This paper outlines the nature of the abductive method and restates it in Bayesian terms. Evidence plays a key role in this working method and, in particular, traces of the past are important in this explanatory framework. Traces, whether singularly or as groups, are interpreted within the context of the event for which they have evidential claims. Traces are not considered as independent entities but rather as inter-related pieces of information concerning the likelihood of specific events. Exemplification of the use of such traces is provided by dissecting an example of their use in the environmental reconstruction of mountain climate.
Keywords Geoscience  Bayesian  Abduction
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11406-008-9124-x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,425
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Harvard University Press.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

For Love of the Other.Tahseen Béa - 2010 - International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series:83-204.
Evidence and Events in History.Leon J. Goldstein - 1962 - Philosophy of Science 29 (2):175-194.
Joint Reminiscing as Joint Attention to the Past.Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - 2005 - In Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 260-286.
Dummett and the Problem of the Vanishing Past.Luca Moretti - 2008 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 7:37-47.
Skepticism About the Past and the Problem of the Criterion.Bryson Brown - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):291-306.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
30 ( #308,264 of 2,286,306 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #848,598 of 2,286,306 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature