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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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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
Schupbach, Jonah N.
Sprenger, Jan
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 15:20
Item ID: 5521

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