Purely Probabilistic Measures of Explanatory Power – A Critique

Philosophy of Science (forthcoming)
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All extant purely probabilistic measures of explanatory power satisfy the following technical condition: if Pr(E | H1) > Pr(E | H2) and Pr(E | ~H1) < Pr(E | ~H2), then H1’s explanatory power with respect to E is greater than H2’s explanatory power with respect to E. We argue that any measure satisfying this condition faces three serious problems – the Problem of Temporal Shallowness, the Problem of Negative Causal Interactions, and the Problem of Non-Explanations. We further argue that many such measures face a fourth problem – the Problem of Explanatory Irrelevance.
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Archival date: 2021-11-22
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