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  1. Is Explanatoriness a Guide to Confirmation? A Reply to Climenhaga.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):581-590.
    We argued that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in the following sense: Let H be a hypothesis, O an observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then our claim is that Pr = Pr. We defended this screening-off thesis by discussing an example concerning smoking and cancer. Climenhaga argues that SOT is mistaken because it delivers the wrong verdict about a slightly different smoking-and-cancer case. He also considers a variant of SOT, called (...)
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  • Locating IBE in the Bayesian Framework.Jonathan Weisberg - 2009 - Synthese 167 (1):125-143.
    Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) and Bayesianism are our two most prominent theories of scientific inference. Are they compatible? Van Fraassen famously argued that they are not, concluding that IBE must be wrong since Bayesianism is right. Writers since then, from both the Bayesian and explanationist camps, have usually considered van Fraassen’s argument to be misguided, and have plumped for the view that Bayesianism and IBE are actually compatible. I argue that van Fraassen’s argument is actually not so misguided, (...)
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  • The best explanation: Criteria for theory choice.Paul R. Thagard - 1978 - Journal of Philosophy 75 (2):76-92.
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  • Venetian sea levels, british bread prices, and the principle of the common cause.Elliott Sober - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (2):331-346.
    When two causally independent processes each have a quantity that increases monotonically (either deterministically or in probabilistic expectation), the two quantities will be correlated, thus providing a counterexample to Reichenbach's principle of the common cause. Several philosophers have denied this, but I argue that their efforts to save the principle are unsuccessful. Still, one salvage attempt does suggest a weaker principle that avoids the initial counterexample. However, even this weakened principle is mistaken, as can be seen by exploring the concepts (...)
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  • Explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant, or inference to the best explanation meets Bayesian confirmation theory.W. Roche & E. Sober - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):659-668.
    In the world of philosophy of science, the dominant theory of confirmation is Bayesian. In the wider philosophical world, the idea of inference to the best explanation exerts a considerable influence. Here we place the two worlds in collision, using Bayesian confirmation theory to argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant.
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  • Explanatoriness and Evidence: A Reply to McCain and Poston.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):193-199.
    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 (...)
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  • Van Fraassen's Critique Of Inference To The Best Explanation.Samir Okasha - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (4):691-710.
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  • Why Explanatoriness Is Evidentially Relevant.Kevin McCain & Ted Poston - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):145-153.
    William Roche and Elliott Sober argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant. This conclusion is surprising since it conflicts with a plausible assumption—the fact that a hypothesis best explains a given set of data is evidence that the hypothesis is true. We argue that Roche and Sober's screening-off argument fails to account for a key aspect of evidential strength: the weight of a body of evidence. The weight of a body of evidence affects the resiliency of probabilities in the light of (...)
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  • Ex-huming Hacking. [REVIEW]Larry Laudan - 1978 - Erkenntnis 13 (1):417-435.
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  • The evidential relevance of explanatoriness: A reply to Roche and Sober.Marc Lange - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):303-312.
    Roche and Sober have offered a new argument for the view that a hypothesis H is not confirmed by its capacity to explain some observation O. Their argument purports to work by showing that O screens H off from the fact that H would explain O. This paper offers several objections to this argument. Firstly, the screening-off test cannot identify whatever evidential contribution Hs explanatoriness may make. Secondly, that H would explain O may be logically necessary, eluding the screening-off test. (...)
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  • De finetti's probabilism.Richard Jeffrey - 1984 - Synthese 60 (1):73 - 90.
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  • The inference to the best explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.
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  • On the emergence of probability.Daniel Garber & Sandy Zabell - 1979 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 21 (1):33-53.
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  • How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
    Where E is the proposition that [If H and O were true, H would explain O], William Roche and Elliot Sober have argued that P(H|O&E) = P(H|O). In this paper I argue that not only is this equality not generally true, it is false in the very kinds of cases that Roche and Sober focus on, involving frequency data. In fact, in such cases O raises the probability of H only given that there is an explanatory connection between them.
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  • The Deluge of Spurious Correlations in Big Data.Cristian S. Calude & Giuseppe Longo - 2016 - Foundations of Science 22 (3):595-612.
    Very large databases are a major opportunity for science and data analytics is a remarkable new field of investigation in computer science. The effectiveness of these tools is used to support a “philosophy” against the scientific method as developed throughout history. According to this view, computer-discovered correlations should replace understanding and guide prediction and action. Consequently, there will be no need to give scientific meaning to phenomena, by proposing, say, causal relations, since regularities in very large databases are enough: “with (...)
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  • History versus hacking on probability.Robert Brown - 1987 - History of European Ideas 8 (6):655-673.
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  • Abduction.Igorn D. Douven - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Most philosophers agree that abduction (in the sense of Inference to the Best Explanation) is a type of inference that is frequently employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific reasoning. However, the exact form as well as the normative status of abduction are still matters of controversy. This entry contrasts abduction with other types of inference; points at prominent uses of it, both in and outside philosophy; considers various more or less precise statements of it; (...)
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  • Causation as folk science.John D. Norton - 2003 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Philosophers' Imprint. Oxford University Press.
    I deny that the world is fundamentally causal, deriving the skepticism on non-Humean grounds from our enduring failures to find a contingent, universal principle of causality that holds true of our science. I explain the prevalence and fertility of causal notions in science by arguing that a causal character for many sciences can be recovered, when they are restricted to appropriately hospitable domains. There they conform to a loose collection of causal notions that form a folk science of causation. This (...)
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