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Ted Poston
University of Alabama
  1. How Do Medical Researchers Make Causal Inferences?Olaf Dammann, Ted Poston & Paul Thagard - 2020 - In Kevin McCain & Kostas Kampourakis (eds.), What is scientific knowledge? An introduction to contemporary epistemology of science. London, UK: Routledge.
    Bradford Hill (1965) highlighted nine aspects of the complex evidential situation a medical researcher faces when determining whether a causal relation exists between a disease and various conditions associated with it. These aspects are widely cited in the literature on epidemiological inference as justifying an inference to a causal claim, but the epistemological basis of the Hill aspects is not understood. We offer an explanatory coherentist interpretation, explicated by Thagard's ECHO model of explanatory coherence. The ECHO model captures the complexity (...)
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  2.  54
    Coherence & Confirmation: The Epistemic Limitations to the Impossibility Theorems.Ted Poston - forthcoming - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy.
    It is a widespread intuition that the coherence of independent reports provides a powerful reason to believe that the reports are true. Formal results by Huemer (1997), Olsson (2002, 2005), and Bovens and Hartmann (2003) prove that, under certain conditions, coherence cannot increase the probability of the target claim. These formal results, known as ‘the impossibility theorems’ have been widely discussed in the literature. They are taken to have significant epistemic upshot. In particular, they are taken to show that reports (...)
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  3. Explanatory Coherence and the Impossibility of Confirmation by Coherence.Ted Poston - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):835-848.
    The coherence of independent reports provides a strong reason to believe that the reports are true. This plausible claim has come under attack from recent work in Bayesian epistemology. This work shows that, under certain probabilistic conditions, coherence cannot increase the probability of the target claim. These theorems are taken to demonstrate that epistemic coherentism is untenable. To date no one has investigated how these results bear on different conceptions of coherence. I investigate this situation using Thagard’s ECHO model of (...)
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  4.  59
    Kelly James Clark and Raymond VanArragon , Evidence and Religious Belief, Oxford University Press, 2011.Ted Poston - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (3):177-183.
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  5. The Intrinsic Probability of Grand Explanatory Theories.Ted Poston - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (4):401-420.
    This paper articulates a way to ground a relatively high prior probability for grand explanatory theories apart from an appeal to simplicity. I explore the possibility of enumerating the space of plausible grand theories of the universe by using the explanatory properties of possible views to limit the number of plausible theories. I motivate this alternative grounding by showing that Swinburne’s appeal to simplicity is problematic along several dimensions. I then argue that there are three plausible grand views—theism, atheism, and (...)
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