Robustness and Independent Evidence

Philosophy of Science 84 (3):414-435 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Robustness arguments hold that hypotheses are more likely to be true when they are confirmed by diverse kinds of evidence. Robustness arguments require the confirming evidence to be independent. We identify two kinds of independence appealed to in robustness arguments: ontic independence —when the multiple lines of evidence depend on different materials, assumptions, or theories—and probabilistic independence. Many assume that OI is sufficient for a robustness argument to be warranted. However, we argue that, as typically construed, OI is not a sufficient independence condition for warranting robustness arguments. We show that OI evidence can collectively confirm a hypothesis to a lower degree than individual lines of evidence, contrary to the standard assumption undergirding usual robustness arguments. We employ Bayesian networks to represent the ideal empirical scenario for a robustness argument and a variety of ways in which empirical scenarios can fall short of this ideal.
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
STERAI-8
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-07-04
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2017-09-15

Total downloads
35 ( #29,113 of 35,455 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #11,439 of 35,455 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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