Explanatoriness and Evidence: A Reply to McCain and Poston

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):193-199 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
We argue elsewhere that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant . Let H be some hypothesis, O some observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then O screens-off E from H: Pr = Pr. This thesis, hereafter “SOT” , is defended by appeal to a representative case. The case concerns smoking and lung cancer. McCain and Poston grant that SOT holds in cases, like our case concerning smoking and lung cancer, that involve frequency data. However, McCain and Poston contend that there is a wider sense of evidential relevance—wider than the sense at play in SOT—on which explanatoriness is evidentially relevant even in cases involving frequency data. This is their main point, but they also contend that SOT does not hold in certain cases not involving frequency data. We reply to each of these points and conclude with some general remarks on screening-off as a test of evidential relevance
Categories
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ROCEAE-3
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-03-02
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Statistical Explanation.Salmon, Wesley C.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2014-09-05

Total views
179 ( #16,923 of 40,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #19,154 of 40,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.