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On No-Miracles and the Base-Rate Fallacy

Dyck, Keith (2022) On No-Miracles and the Base-Rate Fallacy. [Preprint]

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Colin Howson (2000) contends that the No-Miracles argument fails as an argument in support of scientific realism because it commits the base-rate fallacy. In response, Stathis Psillos (2009) has defended the argument by appealing to cases that involve conditional probabilities but where base-rate information can properly be ignored. Through an examination of these cases, I show that Psillos’s defense of the No- Miracles argument is inadequate and that the prospects for a purely probabilistic formulation of the argument are dim. I end by considering whether interpreting the argument as an inference to the best explanation might better serve the scientific realist, concluding that such an approach would limit both the argument’s audience and the realist’s ability to effectively counter the Pessimistic Induction.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: No-Miracles, Scientific Realism, Base-Rate Fallacy
Subjects: General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Keith Dyck
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2023 22:20
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2023 22:20
Item ID: 21960
Subjects: General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 16 March 2022

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