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Comparing Probabilistic Measures of Explanatory Power
Jonah N. Schupbach
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 813-829
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662278
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Cinerary urns, Frequentism, Judgment, Reasoning, Normativity, Drawing, Judgmental probability, Logical givens, Moral judgment, Intuition
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Recently, in attempting to account for explanatory reasoning in probabilistic terms, Bayesians have proposed several measures of the strength of a potential explanation. These candidate measures of “explanatory power” arguably have interesting normative interpretations and consequences. What has not yet been investigated, however, is whether any of these measures are also descriptive of people’s actual explanatory judgments. Here I present my own experimental work investigating this question. I argue that one measure in particular is an accurate descriptor of explanatory judgments. Then I briefly point to some implications of this result for the epistemology and the psychology of explanatory reasoning.
Copyright 2011 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.