Erkenntnis 83 (5):1085-1104 (2018)

Lukáš Bielik
Comenius University
Explication usually plays the role of the method of language revision. The paper sticks to the Carnapian project of explication and develops some of the formal requirements imposed on the explicatum. However, it departs from Carnap’s view when it comes to how to construe the simplicity condition. It is suggested that in some cases the simplicity condition, which in the Carnapian project plays the derived role with respect to the other three conditions—the similarity, exactness, and fruitfulness conditions—may be substantive for the overall evaluation of explications. Based on a case study of three different explications of the H-D concept of confirmation :391–437, 1991; Erkenntnis 41:183–188, 1994; Gemes in Philos Sci 60:477–487, 1993; Erkenntnis 49:1–20, 1998; Sprenger in Philos Compass 6:497–508, 2011), we show that there are cases where competing explicata of a common explicandum satisfy the first three conditions equally well. In those cases, then, the simplicity condition is supposed to make the difference. However, instead of using Carnap’s construal of simplicity, we suggest a Principle of instrumental simplicity according to which, ceteris paribus, the simpler the explicatum is, the more likely is its ‘survival’ in competition with other explicata. Moreover, it is suggested that whereas the similarity, exactness and fruitfulness conditions are, in some sense, formal criteria, the simplicity condition is rather tested empirically.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-017-9930-2
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References found in this work BETA

Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
The Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (13):362-364.

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Citations of this work BETA

What Ought a Fruitful Explicatum to Be?Mark Pinder - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):913-932.

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