Philosophy of Science 72 (4):594-607 (2005)

Jonah N. Schupbach
University of Utah
In three recent papers, Wayne Myrvold and Timothy McGrew have developed Bayesian accounts of the virtue of unification. In his account, McGrew demonstrates that, ceteris paribus, a hypothesis that unifies its evidence will have a higher posterior probability than a hypothesis that does not. Myrvold, on the other hand, offers a specific measure of unification that can be applied to individual hypotheses. He argues that one must account for this measure in order to calculate correctly the degree of confirmation that a hypothesis receives from its evidence. Using the probability calculus, I prove that the two accounts of unification require the same underlying inequality; thus, McGrew and Myrvold have accounted for unification in fundamentally identical probabilistic terms. I then evaluate five putative counterexamples to this account and show that these examples, far from disqualifying it, serve to clarify our notion of unification by disentangling it from a host of other concepts
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DOI 10.1086/505186
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References found in this work BETA

Two Uses of Unification.Elliott Sober - 2003 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 10:205-216.

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Citations of this work BETA

Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
On the Evidential Import of Unification.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):92-114.
The Unity of Science.Jordi Cat - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Modeling Creative Abduction Bayesian Style.Christian Feldbacher-Escamilla & Alexander Gebharter - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-15.

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