Results for 'Simplicity'

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  1. An Argument From Divine Beauty Against Divine Simplicity.Matthew Baddorf - 2017 - Topoi 36 (4):657-664.
    Some versions of the doctrine of divine simplicity imply that God lacks really differentiated parts. I present a new argument against these views based on divine beauty. The argument proceeds as follows: God is beautiful. If God is beautiful, then this beauty arises from some structure. If God’s beauty arises from a structure, then God possesses really differentiated parts. If these premises are true, then divine simplicity is false. I argue for each of the argument’s premises and defend (...)
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  2. Simplicity as a Criterion of Theory Choice in Metaphysics.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2687-2707.
    Metaphysicians frequently appeal to the idea that theoretical simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, in the sense that, all other things being equal, simpler metaphysical theories are more likely to be true. In this paper I defend the notion that theoretical simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, against several recent objections. I do not give any direct arguments for the thesis that simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, since I am aware of no such arguments. I do (...)
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  3.  55
    The Simplicity of Divine Ideas: Theistic Conceptual Realism and The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity.Michelle Lynn Panchuk - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    There has been little discussion of the compatibility of Theistic Conceptual Realism (TCR) with the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS). On one hand, if a plurality of universals is necessary to explain the character of particular things, there is reason to think this commits the proponent of TCR to the existence of a plurality of divine concepts. So the proponent of the DDS has a prima facie reason to reject TCR (and vice versa). On the other hand, many mediaeval (...)
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  4. Why the One Cannot Have Parts: Plotinus on Divine Simplicity, Ontological Independence, and Perfect Being Theology.Caleb M. Cohoe - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (269):751-771.
    I use Plotinus to present absolute divine simplicity as the consequence of principles about metaphysical and explanatory priority to which most theists are already committed. I employ Phil Corkum’s account of ontological independence as independent status to present a new interpretation of Plotinus on the dependence of everything on the One. On this reading, if something else (whether an internal part or something external) makes you what you are, then you are ontologically dependent on it. I show that this (...)
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  5. Evidence and Simplicity: Why We Should Reject Homeopathy.Scott Sehon & Donald Stanley - 2010 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):276-281.
    Homeopathic medications are used by millions, and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on these remedies in the USA alone. In the UK, the NHS covers homeopathic treatments. Nonetheless, homeopathy is held in considerable disrepute by much of the medical and scientific community.Many proponents of homeopathy are well aware of these criticisms but remain unimpressed. The differences of opinion run deep, and the debate seems deadlocked. We aim to shed some light on this situation. We briefly recap some of (...)
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  6. An Improbable God Between Simplicity and Complexity: Thinking About Dawkins's Challenge.Philippe Gagnon - 2013 - International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):409-433.
    Richard Dawkins has popularized an argument that he thinks sound for showing that there is almost certainly no God. It rests on the assumptions (1) that complex and statistically improbable things are more difficult to explain than those that are not and (2) that an explanatory mechanism must show how this complexity can be built up from simpler means. But what justifies claims about the designer’s own complexity? One comes to a different understanding of order and of simplicity when (...)
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  7. Divine Simplicity, Aseity, and Sovereignty.Matthew Baddorf - 2017 - Sophia 56 (3):403-418.
    The doctrine of divine simplicity has recently been ably defended, but very little work has been done considering reasons to believe God is simple. This paper begins to address this lack. I consider whether divine aseity or the related notion of divine sovereignty provide us with good reason to affirm divine simplicity. Divine complexity has sometimes been thought to imply that God would possess an efficient cause; or, alternatively, that God would be grounded by God’s constituents. I argue (...)
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  8. Against Divine Truthmaker Simplicity.Noël B. Saenz - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (4):460-474.
    Divine Simplicity has it that God is absolutely simple. God exhibits no metaphysical complexity; he has neither proper parts nor distinct intrinsic properties. Recently, Jeffrey Brower has put forward an account of divine simplicity that has it that God is the truthmaker for all intrinsic essential predications about him. This allows Brower to preserve the intuitive thought that God is not a property but a concrete being. In this paper, I provide two objections to Brower’s account that are (...)
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  9. The Devilish Complexities of Divine Simplicity.Graham Oppy - 2003 - Philo 6 (1):10-22.
    In On the Nature and Existence of God, Richard Gale follows majority opinion in giving very short shrift to the doctrine of divine simplicity: in his view, there is no coherent expressible doctrine of divine simplicity. Rising to the implicit challenge, I argue that---contrary to what is widely believed---there is a coherently expressible doctrine of divine simplicity, though it is rather different from the views that are typically expressed by defenders of this doctrine. At the very least, (...)
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  10.  30
    Love, Justice, and Divine Simplicity.Everett Fulmer - forthcoming - In Ingolf Dalferth (ed.), Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion: Love and Justice. Mohr Siebeck.
    This paper raises an underappreciated paradox for classical theism. Love seems to be an inherently biased and partial relation. Justice seems to require the opposite, detached impartiality (think of the attributes of the just judge). But if these are conceptual facts, then classical theism is guilty of ascribing inconsistent attributes to God: perfect love and perfect justice. I resolve this paradox in a manner that weighs in favor of the principle of divine simplicity.
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  11.  66
    Moral Objectivity, Simplicity, and the Identity View of God.Gordon Pettit - 2009 - Philosophia Christi 11 (1):126-144.
    In contrast to the most common view, I argue that one can consistently affirm that fundamental moral principles are objective and invariable, and yet are dependent on God. I explore and reject appealing to divine simplicity as a basis for affirming this conjunction. Rather, I develop the thesis that God is identical to the Good (the Identity View or IV) and argue that the IV does not fall to the criticisms of simplicity. I then consider a divine will (...)
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  12.  5
    Naturalness of Properties and Simplicity of Theories.Matej Drobňák - 2019 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 41 (1):3-19.
    In this paper, I discuss a specific approach to measuring and comparing the simplicity of theories that is based on Lewis’s notion of fundamental properties. In particular, I discuss the criterion of simplicity as stated by Williams. According to Williams, the best candidate for a theory is the one which has the shortest definition in terms of fundamental properties. The aim of this paper is to show that the criterion thus specified has two constraints. First, the criterion is (...)
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  13. Non-Empirical Requirements Scientific Theories Must Satisfy: Simplicity, Unification, Explanation, Beauty.Nicholas Maxwell - 2004 - PhilSci Archive.
    A scientific theory, in order to be accepted as a part of theoretical scientific knowledge, must satisfy both empirical and non-empirical requirements, the latter having to do with simplicity, unity, explanatory character, symmetry, beauty. No satisfactory, generally accepted account of such non-empirical requirements has so far been given. Here, a proposal is put forward which, it is claimed, makes a contribution towards solving the problem. This proposal concerns unity of physical theory. In order to satisfy the non-empirical requirement of (...)
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  14.  4
    On the Alleged Simplicity of Impure Proof.Andrew Arana - 2017 - In Roman Kossak & Philip Ording (eds.), Simplicity: Ideals of Practice in Mathematics and the Arts. pp. 207-226.
    Roughly, a proof of a theorem, is “pure” if it draws only on what is “close” or “intrinsic” to that theorem. Mathematicians employ a variety of terms to identify pure proofs, saying that a pure proof is one that avoids what is “extrinsic,” “extraneous,” “distant,” “remote,” “alien,” or “foreign” to the problem or theorem under investigation. In the background of these attributions is the view that there is a distance measure (or a variety of such measures) between mathematical statements and (...)
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  15. Hume and a Worry About Simplicity.Stewart Duncan - 2009 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 26 (2):139-157.
    I discuss Hume's views about whether simplicity and generality are positive features of explanations. In criticizing Hobbes and others who base their systems of morality on self interest, Hume diagnoses their errors as resulting from a "love of simplicity". These worries about whether simplicity is a positive feature of explanations emerge in Hume's thinking over time. But Hume does not completely reject the idea that it's good to seek simple explanations. What Hume thinks we need is good (...)
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  16. Simplicity.Nicholas Maxwell - 2000 - PhilSci Archive.
    There are two problems of simplicity. What does it mean to characterize a scientific theory as simple, unified or explanatory in view of the fact that a simple theory can always be made complex (and vice versa) by a change of terminology? How is preference in science for simple theories to be justified? In this paper I put forward a proposal as to how the first problem is to be solved. The more nearly the totality of fundamental physical theory (...)
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  17. The Coherence of Aquinas's Account of Divine Simplicity.David Kovacs - 2018 - Dissertation,
    Divine simplicity is central to Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy of God. Most important for Aquinas is his view that God’s existence (esse) is identical to God’s essence; for everything other than God, there is a distinction between existence and essence. However, recent developments in analytic philosophy about the nature of existence threaten to undermine what Aquinas thought regarding divine simplicity. In the first chapter of this dissertation, I trace Aquinas’s thinking on divine simplicity through the various texts he (...)
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  18. Simply Impossible: A Case Against Divine Simplicity.R. T. Mullins - 2013 - Journal of Reformed Theology 7 (2):181-203.
    Within contemporary philosophical theology the doctrine of divine simplicity has regained attention. There are several new defenses of simplicity in the literature. One of the more surprising, and troubling, aspects of the contemporary defenses amongst Christian philosophers and theologians is a seeming lack of understanding about how radical the doctrine of divine simplicity truly is. As such, I wish to do a few things in this paper. First, systematically articulate the doctrine of divine simplicity. Second, argue (...)
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  19. Dawkins’s Gambit, Hume’s Aroma, and God’s Simplicity.Erik Wielenberg - 2009 - Philosophia Christi 11 (1):113-127.
    I examine the central atheistic argument of Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion (“Dawkins’s Gambit”) and illustrate its failure. I further show that Dawkins’s Gambit is a fragment of a more comprehensive critique of theism found in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Among the failings of Dawkins’s Gambit is that it is directed against a version of the God Hypothesis that few traditional monotheists hold. Hume’s critique is more challenging in that it targets versions of the God Hypothesis that (...)
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  20.  45
    The Simplicity of the Simple Approach to Personal Identity.Andrea Sauchelli - 2019 - In Luca Bellotti, Luca Gili, Giacomo Turbanti & Enrico Moriconi (eds.), Third Pisa Colloquium in Logic, Language and Epistemology. Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy: pp. 347-358.
    I provide a simple solution to the problem of determining the characterising feature(s) of the simple approach to personal identity, sometimes also called the simple view: instead of focusing on claims regarding the analysability, reducibility, or triviality of the concepts used in simple theories of personal identity, I propose instead a metaphysical criterion to define this approach. In particular, I claim that the simple approach is (best seen as) that family of theories according to which personal identity is a relation (...)
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  21. Prostota (Boga - Simplicity of God).Marek Pepliński - 2016 - In Janusz Salamon (ed.), Przewodnik po filozofii religii. Nurt analityczny, Kraków 2016. Wydawnictwo WAM. pp. 87-107.
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  22. Making Sense of Divine Simplicity.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2008 - Faith and Philosophy 25 (1):3-30.
    According to the doctrine of divine simplicity, God is an absolutely simple being lacking any distinct metaphysical parts, properties, or constituents. Although this doctrine was once an essential part of traditional philosophical theology, it is now widely rejected as incoherent. In this paper, I develop an interpretation of the doctrine designed to resolve contemporary concerns about its coherence, as well as to show precisely what is required to make sense of divine simplicity.
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  23.  66
    Aquinas on the Nature and Implications of Divine Simplicity.Christopher Hughes - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):1-22.
    I discuss what Aquinas’ doctrine of divine simplicity is, and what he takes to be its implications. I also discuss the extent to which Aquinas succeeds in motivating and defending those implications.
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  24. Simplicity and Aseity.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2009 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 105-28.
    There is a traditional theistic doctrine, known as the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is an absolutely simple being, completely devoid of any metaphysical complexity. On the standard understanding of this doctrine—as epitomized in the work of philosophers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas—there are no distinctions to be drawn between God and his nature, goodness, power, or wisdom. On the contrary, God is identical with each of these things, along with anything else that can be (...)
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  25. Swinburne on the Simplicity of Theism.Bruce Langtry - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (2):409 - 426.
    This paper argues that (1) Richard Swinburne’s general account of the simplicity of empirical hypotheses fails because it involves a deeply problematic notion of postulating a property, while there is a wide range of hypotheses where the assessment of simplicity rests entirely on the number and kinds of postulated properties, (2) Swinburne’s main argument in ’The Christian God’ for the simplicity of theism, the one based on considerations about pure limitless intentional power, is significantly weaker than he (...)
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  26.  55
    Divine Simplicity.Thomas Schärtl - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):51-88.
    This paper examines a variety of approaches in order to make sense of the doctrine of divine simplicity. Discussing the implications of traditional and contemporary philosophical concepts of divine simplicity, the author argues for taking the divine nature as a stupendous substance to serve as the one and only truthmaker of statements regarding God, while we can resolve the predication problem which is caused by the idea that, as implied by divine simplicity, God is identical to his (...)
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  27.  46
    Utrum Verum Et Simplex Convertantur. The Simplicity of God in Aquinas and Swinburne.Christian Tapp - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):23-50.
    This paper explores Thomas Aquinas’ and Richard Swinburne’s doctrines of simplicity in the context of their philosophical theologies. Both say that God is simple. However, Swinburne takes simplicity as a property of the theistic hypothesis, while for Aquinas simplicity is a property of God himself. For Swinburne, simpler theories are ceteris paribus more likely to be true; for Aquinas, simplicity and truth are properties of God which, in a certain way, coincide – because God is metaphysically (...)
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  28. Strong Composition as Identity and Simplicity.Joshua Spencer - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (5):1177-1184.
    The general composition question asks “what are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any xs and any y must satisfy in order for it to be true that those xs compose that y?” Although this question has received little attention, there is an interesting and theoretically fruitful answer. Namely, strong composition as identity (SCAI): necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are identical to y. SCAI is theoretically fruitful because if it is true, (...)
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  29. Tropes' Simplicity and Mental Causation.Simone Gozzano - 2008 - In Simone Gozzano & Francesco Orilia (eds.), Tropes, Universals, and the Philosophy of Mind. Ontos Verlag.
    In this paper I first try to clarify the essential features of tropes and then I use the resulting analysis to cope with the problem of mental causation. As to the first step, I argue that tropes, beside being essentially particular and abstract, are simple, where such a simplicity can be considered either from a phenomenal point of view or from a structural point of view. Once this feature is spelled out, the role tropes may play in solving the (...)
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  30.  42
    Simplicity, Language-Dependency and the Best System Account of Laws.Billy Wheeler - 2014 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 31 (2):189-206.
    It is often said that the best system account of laws needs supplementing with a theory of perfectly natural properties. The ‘strength’ and ‘simplicity’ of a system is language-relative and without a fixed vocabulary it is impossible to compare rival systems. Recently a number of philosophers have attempted to reformulate the BSA in an effort to avoid commitment to natural properties. I assess these proposals and argue that they are problematic as they stand. Nonetheless, I agree with their aim, (...)
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  31.  33
    Divine Simplicity and the Grammar of God-Talk: Comments on Hughes, Tapp, and Schärtl.S. J. Otto Muck - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):89-104.
    Different opinions about the simplicity of God may be connected with different understandings of how abstract terms are used to name the properties which are affirmed of a being. If these terms are taken to signify parts of that being, this being is not a simple one. Thomas Aquinas, who attributes essence, existence and perfections to God, nevertheless thinks that these are not different parts of God. When essence, existence and perfections are attributed to God, they all denominate the (...)
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  32. Mr. Fit, Mr. Simplicity and Mr. Scope: From Social Choice to Theory Choice.Michael Morreau - 2013 - Erkenntnis (S6):1-16.
    An analogue of Arrow’s theorem has been thought to limit the possibilities for multi-criterial theory choice. Here, an example drawn from Toy Science, a model of theories and choice criteria, suggests that it does not. Arrow’s assumption that domains are unrestricted is inappropriate in connection with theory choice in Toy Science. There are, however, variants of Arrow’s theorem that do not require an unrestricted domain. They require instead that domains are, in a technical sense, ‘rich’. Since there are rich domains (...)
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  33. The Primate Mindreading Controversy : A Case Study in Simplicity and Methodology in Animal Psychology.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2009 - In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 224--246.
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  34. A Theistic Argument Against Platonism (and in Support of Truthmakers and Divine Simplicity).Michael Bergmann & Jeffrey E. Brower - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 2:357-386.
    Predication is an indisputable part of our linguistic behavior. By contrast, the metaphysics of predication has been a matter of dispute ever since antiquity. According to Plato—or at least Platonism, the view that goes by Plato’s name in contemporary philosophy—the truths expressed by predications such as “Socrates is wise” are true because there is a subject of predication (e.g., Socrates), there is an abstract property or universal (e.g., wisdom), and the subject exemplifies the property.1 This view is supposed to be (...)
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  35. Augustine on Predestination and Divine Simplicity: The Problem of Compatibility.Narve Strand - 2001 - Studia Patristica 38:290-305.
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  36. Against Simplicity and Cognitive Individualism: Nathaniel T. Wilcox.Nathaniel T. Wilcox - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):523-532.
    Neuroeconomics illustrates our deepening descent into the details of individual cognition. This descent is guided by the implicit assumption that “individual human” is the important “agent” of neoclassical economics. I argue here that this assumption is neither obviously correct, nor of primary importance to human economies. In particular I suggest that the main genius of the human species lies with its ability to distribute cognition across individuals, and to incrementally accumulate physical and social cognitive artifacts that largely obviate the innate (...)
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  37. Why Simpler Computer Simulation Models Can Be Epistemically Better for Informing Decisions.Casey Helgeson, Vivek Srikrishnan, Klaus Keller & Nancy Tuana - manuscript
    For computer simulation models to usefully inform climate risk management decisions, uncertainties in model projections must be explored and characterized. Because doing so requires running the model many times over, and because computing resources are finite, uncertainty assessment is more feasible using models that need less computer processor time. Such models are generally simpler in the sense of being more idealized, or less realistic. So modelers face a trade-off between realism and extent of uncertainty quantification. Seeing this trade-off for the (...)
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  38. The Need for a Revolution in the Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2002 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):381-408.
    There is a need to bring about a revolution in the philosophy of science, interpreted to be both the academic discipline, and the official view of the aims and methods of science upheld by the scientific community. At present both are dominated by the view that in science theories are chosen on the basis of empirical considerations alone, nothing being permanently accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independently of evidence. Biasing choice of theory in the direction of simplicity, (...)
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  39. When is Parsimony a Virtue?Michael Huemer - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):216-236.
    Parsimony is a virtue of empirical theories. Is it also a virtue of philosophical theories? I review four contemporary accounts of the virtue of parsimony in empirical theorizing, and consider how each might apply to two prominent appeals to parsimony in the philosophical literature, those made on behalf of physicalism and on behalf of nominalism. None of the accounts of the virtue of parsimony extends naturally to either of these philosophical cases. This suggests that in typical philosophical contexts, ontological (...) has no evidential value. (shrink)
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  40. Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
    Mereological nihilism (henceforth just "nihilism") is the thesis that composition never occurs. Nihilism has often been defended on the basis of its theoretical simplicity, including its ontological simplicity and its ideological simplicity (roughly, nihilism's ability to do without primitive mereological predicates). In this paper I defend nihilism on the basis of the theoretical unification conferred by nihilism, which is, roughly, nihilism's capacity to allow us to take fewer phenomena as brute and inexplicable. This represents a respect in (...)
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  41. Popper's Paradoxical Pursuit of Natural Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2016 - In J. Shearmur & G. Stokes (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Popper. Cambridge University Press. pp. 170-207.
    Philosophy of science is seen by most as a meta-discipline – one that takes science as its subject matter, and seeks to acquire knowledge and understanding about science without in any way affecting, or contributing to, science itself. Karl Popper’s approach is very different. His first love is natural philosophy or, as he would put it, cosmology. This intermingles cosmology and the rest of natural science with epistemology, methodology and metaphysics. Paradoxically, however, one of his best known contributions, his proposed (...)
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  42. Simple is Not Easy.Edison Barrios - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2261-2305.
    I review and challenge the views on simplicity and its role in linguistics put forward by Ludlow. In particular, I criticize the claim that simplicity—in the sense pertinent to science—is nothing more than ease of use or “user-friendliness”, motivated by economy of labor. I argue that Ludlow’s discussion fails to do justice to the diversity of factors that are relevant to simplicity considerations. This, in turn, leads to the neglect of crucial cases in which the rationale for (...)
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  43. Philosophers Should Prefer Simpler Theories.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3049-3067.
    Should philosophers prefer simpler theories? Huemer (Philos Q 59:216–236, 2009) argues that the reasons to prefer simpler theories in science do not apply in philosophy. I will argue that Huemer is mistaken—the arguments he marshals for preferring simpler theories in science can also be applied in philosophy. Like Huemer, I will focus on the philosophy of mind and the nominalism/Platonism debate. But I want to engage with the broader issue of whether simplicity is relevant to philosophy.
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  44. ‘Identity’ as a Mereological Term.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2367-2385.
    The mereological predicate ‘is part of’ can be used to define the predicate ‘is identical with’. I argue that this entails that mereological theories can be ideologically simpler than nihilistic theories that do not use the notion of parthood—contrary to what has been argued by Ted Sider. Moreover, if one accepts an extensional mereology, there are good philosophical reasons apart from ideological simplicity to give a mereological definition of identity.
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  45. Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates About the Ontology of Consciousness.Brie Gertler - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    A primary goal of this chapter is to highlight neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science. -/- I begin the chapter by fleshing out the distinctive commitments of dualism, in a way that illuminates the (...)
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  46. The Ancients, the Vulgar, and Hume's Skepticism.Maria Magoula Adamos - 2014 - In P. Hanna (ed.), Anthology of Philosophical Studies. ATINER. pp. 5-15.
    Section III of part IV of Book I of Hume's Treatise entitled “Of the ancient philosophy” has been virtually ignored by most Hume scholars. Although philosophers seem to concentrate on sections II and VI of part IV and pay little or no attention to section III, the latter section is paramount in showing how serious Hume's skepticism is, and how Hume's philosophy, contrary to his intention, is far removed from "the sentiments of the vulgar". In this paper I shall first (...)
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  47. Simply Extended Mind.Alexander auf der Straße - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):449-458.
    For more than one decade, Andy Clark has defended the now-famous extended mind thesis, the idea that cognitive processes leak into the world. In this paper I analyse Clark’s theoretical justification for the thesis: explanatory simplicity. I argue that his way of justifying the thesis leads into contradiction, either at the level of propositional attitude ascriptions or at the theoretical level. I evaluate three possible strategies of dealing with this issue, concluding that they are all likely to fail and (...)
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  48. Is the Principle of Testimony Simply Epistemically Fundamental or Simply Not? Swinburne on Knowledge by Testimony.Nicola Mößner & Markus Seidel - 2008 - In Nicola Mößner, Sebastian Schmoranzer & Christian Weidemann (eds.), Richard Swinburne. Christian Philosophy in a Modern World. Ontos.
    The recently much discussed phenomenon of testimony as a social source of knowledge plays a crucial justificatory role in Richard Swinburne's philosophy of religion. Although Swinburne officially reduces his principle of testimony to the criterion of simplicity and, therefore, to a derivative epistemic source, we will show that simplicity does not play the crucial role in this epistemological context. We will argue that both Swinburne's philosophical ideas and his formulations allow for a fundamental epistemic principle of testimony, by (...)
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  49. Unity and Logos.Mitchell Miller - 1992 - Ancient Philosophy 12 (1):87 - 111.
    A close reading of Socrates' refutation of the final proposed definition of knowledge, "true opinion with an account." I examine the provocations to further thinking Socrates poses with his dilemma of simplicity and complexity and then by his rejections of the three senses of "account," and I argue that these provocations guide the responsive reader to that rich and determinate understanding of the sort of 'object' which knowledge requires that the Parmenides and the Eleatic dialogues will go on to (...)
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  50. Comprehensibility Rather Than Beauty.Nicholas Maxwell - 2001 - PhilSci Archive.
    Most scientists and philosophers of science recognize that, when it comes to accepting and rejecting theories in science, considerations that have to do with simplicity, unity, symmetry, elegance, beauty or explanatory power have an important role to play, in addition to empirical considerations. Until recently, however, no one has been able to give a satisfactory account of what simplicity (etc.) is, or how giving preference to simple theories is to be justified. But in the last few years, two (...)
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