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On the Evidential Import of Unification

Myrvold, Wayne C. (2015) On the Evidential Import of Unification. [Preprint]

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This paper discusses two senses in which a hypothesis may be said to unify evidence. One is the ability of the hypothesis to increase the mutual information of a set of evidence statements; the other is the ability of the hypothesis to explain commonalities in observed phenomena by positing a common origin for them. On Bayesian updating, it is only mutual information unification that contributes to the incremental support of a hypothesis by the evidence unified. This poses a challenge for the view that explanation is a confirmatory virtue that contributes to such incremental support; its advocates must ground it in some relevant difference between humans and a Bayesian agent.

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Item Type: Preprint
Myrvold, Wayne
Keywords: Unification, explanation, confirmation, Bayesianism.
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Depositing User: Wayne Myrvold
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2015 17:28
Last Modified: 15 May 2016 06:09
Item ID: 11670
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Date: September 2015

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