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Barry Ward
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  1.  56
    Causal Inference as Inference to the Best Explanation.Barry Ward - manuscript
    We argue that a modified version of Mill’s method of agreement can strongly confirm causal generalizations. This mode of causal inference implicates the explanatory virtues of mechanism, analogy, consilience, and simplicity, and we identify it as a species of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE). Since rational causal inference provides normative guidance, IBE is not a heuristic for Bayesian rationality. We give it an objective Bayesian formalization, one that has no need of principles of indifference and yields responses to the (...)
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  2.  49
    Informational Virtues, Causal Inference, and Inference to the Best Explanation.Barry Ward - manuscript
    Frank Cabrera argues that informational explanatory virtues—specifically, mechanism, precision, and explanatory scope—cannot be confirmational virtues, since hypotheses that possess them must have a lower probability than less virtuous, entailed hypotheses. We argue against Cabrera’s characterization of confirmational virtue and for an alternative on which the informational virtues clearly are confirmational virtues. Our illustration of their confirmational virtuousness appeals to aspects of causal inference, suggesting that causal inference has a role for the explanatory virtues. We briefly explore this possibility, delineating a (...)
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  3. Resolving the Raven Paradox: Simple Random Sampling, Stratified Random Sampling, and Inference to Best Explanation.Barry Ward - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):360-377.
    Simple random sampling resolutions of the raven paradox relevantly diverge from scientific practice. We develop a stratified random sampling model, yielding a better fit and apparently rehabilitating simple random sampling as a legitimate idealization. However, neither accommodates a second concern, the objection from potential bias. We develop a third model that crucially invokes causal considerations, yielding a novel resolution that handles both concerns. This approach resembles Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) and relates the generalization’s confirmation to confirmation of an (...)
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  4.  90
    Inequivalent Vacuum States and Rindler Particles.Robert Weingard & Barry Ward - 1998 - In Edgard Gunzig & Simon Diner (eds.), Le Vide: Univers du Tout et du Rien. Bruxelles: Revue de l'Université de Bruxelles. pp. 241-255.
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  5. Presentism Without Truth-Makers.Barry Ward - forthcoming - Chronos.
    We construct a presentist semantics on which there are no truth-makers for past and future tensed statements. The semantics is not an expressivist or projectivist one, and is not susceptible to the semantical difficulties that confront such theories. We discuss how the approach handles some standard concerns with presentism.
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