On an information-theoretic model of explanation

Philosophy of Science 54 (1):21-44 (1987)
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This paper is an assessment of an attempt, by James Greeno, to measure the explanatory power of statistical theories by means of the notion of transmitted information (It). It is argued that It has certain features that are inappropriate in a measure of explanatory power. In particular, given a statistical theory T with explanans variables St and explanandum variables Mj, it is argued that no plausible measure of explanatory power should depend on the probability P(Si) of occurrence of initial conditions in the systems to which T applies or the magnitudes of the conditional probabilities P(Mj/Si), in the manner in which Ir does



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James Woodward
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

Understanding Deep Learning with Statistical Relevance.Tim Räz - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (1):20-41.
Understanding Regression.James Woodward - 1988 - PSA Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988 (1):255-269.

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References found in this work

Scientific explanation.James Woodward - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):41-67.
A Mathematical Theory of Communication.Claude Elwood Shannon - 1948 - Bell System Technical Journal 27 (April 1924):379–423.

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