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The Logic of Explanatory Power

Schupbach, Jonah N. and Sprenger, Jan (2010) The Logic of Explanatory Power. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    This paper introduces and defends a probabilistic measure of the explanatory power that a particular explanans has over its explanandum. To this end, we propose several intuitive, formal conditions of adequacy for an account of explanatory power. Then, we show that these conditions are uniquely satisfied by one particular probabilistic function. We proceed to strengthen the case for this measure of explanatory power by proving several theorems, all of which show that this measure neatly corresponds to our explanatory intuitions. Finally, we briefly describe some promising future projects inspired by our account.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science
    Keywords: explanatory power; probability theory; Bayesianism; theoretical virtues; explanatory virtues; explanatory reasoning
    Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
    Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
    General Issues > Explanation
    Depositing User: Jonah N. Schupbach
    Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:20
    Item ID: 5521
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5521

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