Mind 127 (507):891-902 (2018)

Joel D. Velasco
Texas Tech University
Mind Association 2017Elliott Sober’s first book, Simplicity, defends the view that the simplicity of a theory or hypothesis is a measure of its informativeness – roughly, simpler theories require less new information to be added to them to answer relevant questions of interest. While this measure of simplicity is question-relative, it is still what you might call a global view of simplicity – simplicity means the same thing across different scientific problems and it is always an epistemic virtue. Ockham’s Razor is just good scientific reasoning. Sober’s 1988 book Reconstructing the Past: Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference argues against this global conception of simplicity and replaces it with a local one. Here, in one context parsimony means one thing while in another context it may mean something different. Similarly, whether the more parsimonious hypothesis is to be preferred is also a local matter; it...
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzx031
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Bayes or Bust?John Earman - 1992 - Bradford.
Simplicity.Elliott Sober - 1975 - Clarendon Press.

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