The Perils of Parsimony

Journal of Philosophy 115 (9):485-505 (2018)

Authors
William Roche
Texas Christian University
Abstract
It is widely thought in philosophy and elsewhere that parsimony is a theoretical virtue in that if T1 is more parsimonious than T2, then T1 is preferable to T2, other things being equal. This thesis admits of many distinct precisifications. I focus on a relatively weak precisification on which preferability is a matter of probability, and argue that it is false. This is problematic for various alternative precisifications, and even for Inference to the Best Explanation as standardly understood.
Keywords Bayesianism  explanatory virtues  Inference to the Best Explanation  parsimony  probability  rational belief/disbelief
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/jphil2018115927
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
Inference to the Best Explanation Made Incoherent.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (5):251-273.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Quantitative Parsimony and Explanatory Power.Baker Alan - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):245-259.
Ideological Parsimony.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3889-3908.
Parsimony and the Fisher–Wright Debate.Anya Plutynski - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):697-713.
Quantitative Parsimony, Explanatory Power and Dark Matter.William L. Vanderburgh - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (2):317-327.
How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
Inference to the Best Explanation Made Incoherent.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (5):251-273.
When is Parsimony a Virtue?Michael Huemer - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):216-236.
Outline of an Explanatory Account of Cladistic Practice.Nico M. Franz - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):489-515.
The Varieties of Parsimony in Psychology.Mike Dacey - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):414-437.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-06-19

Total views
115 ( #59,417 of 2,319,412 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
53 ( #8,745 of 2,319,412 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature