Journal Article

Utilising Explanatory Factors in Induction?

Mark Tregear

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 55, issue 3, pages 505-519
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI:
Utilising Explanatory Factors in Induction?

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This paper considers how explanatory factors can play a role in our ampliative inferential practices. Van Fraassen has argued that there is no possible rational rule that governs ampliative inferences and includes weightings for explanatory beauty. In opposition to van Fraassen, Douven has argued that ampliative inferential rules that include weightings for explanatory factors can be rationally followed. There is, however, a crucial difficulty with Douven's approach: applying the ampliative rule that he suggests leads into irrational belief states. A way to remove the difficulties with Douven's account is suggested. The implications of rationally including explanatory factors in ampliative inferences are then considered.


The proposed interpretations

Van Fraassen's justification of the Bayesian approach

A rational non-Bayesian interpretation?

Further restrictions on D(A,B)


Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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