Journal Article

Bayesian Confirmation and Auxiliary Hypotheses Revisited: A Reply to Strevens

Branden Fitelson and Andrew Waterman

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, issue 2, pages 293-302
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axi117
Bayesian Confirmation and Auxiliary Hypotheses Revisited: A Reply to Strevens

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Michael Strevens ([2001]) has proposed an interesting and novel Bayesian analysis of the Quine-Duhem (Q–D) problem (i.e., the problem of auxiliary hypotheses). Strevens's analysis involves the use of a simplifying idealization concerning the original Q–D problem. We will show that this idealization is far stronger than it might appear. Indeed, we argue that Strevens's idealization oversimplifies the Q–D problem, and we propose a diagnosis of the source(s) of the oversimplification.

Some background on Quine–Duhem

Strevens's simplifying idealization

Indications that (I) oversimplifies Q–D

Strevens's argument for the legitimacy of (I)

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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