Quantitative Parsimony: Probably for the Better

Authors
Lina Jansson
Nottingham University
Abstract
ABSTRACT Our aim in this article is to offer a new justification for preferring theories that are more quantitatively parsimonious than their rivals. We discuss cases where it seems clear that those involved opted for more quantitatively parsimonious theories. We extend previous work on quantitative parsimony by offering an independent probabilistic justification for preferring the more quantitatively parsimonious theories in particular episodes of theory choice. Our strategy allows us to avoid worries that other considerations, such as pragmatic factors of computational tractability and so on, could be the driving ones in the historical cases under consideration. _1_ Introduction _2_ Three Desiderata _2.1_ Limiting _2.2_ Robustness _2.3_ Breadth _2.3.1_ A limited success for Baker _2.3.2_ Rejecting Baker’s analysis _2.4_ The proposal _3_ Probabilistically Additive Hypotheses and a Bayesian Account: The Limpid Rationale Relativized and Reconsidered _3.1_ Neutrinos and beta decay _3.2_ Avogadro’s hypothesis _3.3_ Postulation of Neptune _4_ Conclusion
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axv064
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References found in this work BETA

When is Parsimony a Virtue?Michael Huemer - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):216-236.
Quantitative Parsimony.Daniel Nolan - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):329-343.
Quantitative Parsimony and Explanatory Power.Baker Alan - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):245-259.
Quantitative Parsimony and the Metaphysics of Time: Motivating Presentism.Jonathan Tallant - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):688-705.
The Principle of Parsimony.Elliott Sober - 1981 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 32 (2):145-156.

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Citations of this work BETA

Do Not Revise Ockham's Razor Without Necessity.Sam Baron & Jonathan Tallant - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:596-619.
Mathematical Explanation by Law.Sam Baron - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx062.
Do Not Revise Ockham's Razor Without Necessity.Sam Baron & Jonathan Tallant - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3):596-619.

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