Ideological parsimony

Synthese 190 (17):3889-3908 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The theoretical virtue of parsimony values the minimizing of theoretical commitments, but theoretical commitments come in two kinds : ontological and ideological. While the ontological commitments of a theory are the entities it posits, a theory’s ideological commitments are the primitive concepts it employs. Here, I show how we can extend the distinction between quantitative and qualitative parsimony, commonly drawn regarding ontological commitments, to the domain of ideological commitments. I then argue that qualitative ideological parsimony is a theoretical virtue. My defense proceeds by demonstrating the merits of qualitative ideological parsimony and by showing how the qualitative conception of ideological parsimony undermines two notable arguments from ideological parsimony: David Lewis’ defense of modal realism and Ted Sider’s defense of mereological nihilism

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,140

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Quantitative parsimony.Daniel Nolan - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):329-343.
When is parsimony a virtue.Michael Huemer - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):216-236.
Kuhnian values and cladistic parsimony.Richard Richards - 2002 - Perspectives on Science 10 (1):1-27.
Parsimony and predictive equivalence.Elliott Sober - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (2):167 - 197.
Just what are your intentions?Mark Phelan - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (52):72-77.
A J Ayer.Jon Phelan - 2005 - The Philosophers' Magazine 30 (30):80-81.
Retributive parsimony.Richard L. Lippke - 2009 - Res Publica 15 (4):377-395.
A clash of competing metaphors.Michael Bradie - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):887-887.
Martin on the Semantics of 'Looks'.Kathrin Glüer - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (4):292-300.
Enthymematic parsimony.Fabio Paglieri & John Woods - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):461 - 501.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-12-07

Downloads
441 (#24,796)

6 months
17 (#61,393)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sam Cowling
Denison University

Citations of this work

Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):642-670.
What Not to Multiply Without Necessity.Jonathan Schaffer - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):644-664.
Following logical realism where it leads.Michaela McSweeney - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):117-139.
The modal view of essence.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):248-266.
Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.

View all 47 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.

View all 52 references / Add more references