Hypothesis Competition beyond Mutual Exclusivity

Philosophy of Science 84 (5):810-824 (2017)
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Abstract

Competition between scientific hypotheses is not always a matter of mutual exclusivity. Consistent hypotheses can compete to varying degrees either directly or indirectly via a body of evidence. We motivate and defend a particular account of hypothesis competition by showing how it captures these features. Computer simulations of Bayesian inference are used to highlight the limitations of adopting mutual exclusivity as a simplifying assumption to model scientific reasoning, particularly due to the exclusion of hypotheses that may be true. We end with a case study demonstrating the subtleties involved in hypothesis competition in scientific practice.

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Author Profiles

Jonah N. Schupbach
University of Utah
David H. Glass
University of Ulster

Citations of this work

The Ecological Rationality of Explanatory Reasoning.Igor Douven - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 79:1-14.
Variety of evidence and the elimination of hypotheses.Jürgen Landes - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-17.
Conjunctive Explanations and Inference to the Best Explanation.Jonah Schupbach - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):143-162.

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References found in this work

Prediction and Explanation in Historical Natural Science.Carol E. Cleland - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):551-582.

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