What is the problem of simplicity?

In Arnold Zellner, Hugo A. Keuzenkamp & Michael McAleer (eds.), Simplicity, Inference, and Modelling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 13-32 (2002)
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The problem of simplicity involves three questions: How is the simplicity of a hypothesis to be measured? How is the use of simplicity as a guide to hypothesis choice to be justified? And how is simplicity related to other desirable features of hypotheses -- that is, how is simplicity to be traded-off? The present paper explores these three questions, from a variety of viewpoints, including Bayesianism, likelihoodism, and the framework of predictive accuracy formulated by Akaike (1973). It may turn out that simplicity has no global justification -- that its justification varies from problem to problem.



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Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Citations of this work

Simplicity.Alan Baker - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Why the ultimate argument for scientific realism ultimately fails.Moti Mizrahi - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):132-138.
The Intrinsic Probability of Grand Explanatory Theories.Ted Poston - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (4):401-420.

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