Results for 'Simplicity'

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  1. A Simplicity Criterion for Physical Computation.Tyler Millhouse - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):153-178.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a formal criterion for physical computation that allows us to objectively distinguish between competing computational interpretations of a physical system. The criterion construes a computational interpretation as an ordered pair of functions mapping (1) states of a physical system to states of an abstract machine, and (2) inputs to this machine to interventions in this physical system. This interpretation must ensure that counterfactuals true of the abstract machine have appropriate counterparts which are (...)
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  2. Simplicity.Elliott Sober - 1975 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
    Attempts to show that the simplicity of a hypothesis can be measured by attending to how well it answers certain kinds of questions.
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  3. Simplicity in the Best Systems Account of Laws of Nature.James Woodward - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):91-123.
    This article discusses the role of simplicity and the notion of a best balance of simplicity and strength within the best systems account (BSA) of laws of nature. The article explores whether there is anything in scientific practice that corresponds to the notion of simplicity or to the trade-off between simplicity and strength to which the BSA appeals. Various theoretical rationales for simplicity preferences and their bearing on the identification of laws are also explored. It (...)
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  4. Simplicity as a Criterion of Theory Choice in Metaphysics.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2687-2707.
    Metaphysicians frequently appeal to the idea that theoretical simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, in the sense that, all other things being equal, simpler metaphysical theories are more likely to be true. In this paper I defend the notion that theoretical simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, against several recent objections. I do not give any direct arguments for the thesis that simplicity is truth conducive in metaphysics, since I am aware of no such arguments. I do (...)
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  5. Against Simplicity.M. B. Willard - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):165-181.
    Sometimes metaphysicians appeal to simplicity as a reason to prefer one metaphysical theory to another, especially when a philosophical dispute has otherwise reached a state of equilibrium. In this paper, I show that given a Quinean conception of metaphysics, several initially plausible justifications for simplicity as a metaphysical criterion do not succeed. If philosophers wish to preserve simplicity as a metaphysical criterion, therefore, they must radically reconceive the project of metaphysics.
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  6. Simplicity and Aseity.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2009 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 105-28.
    There is a traditional theistic doctrine, known as the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is an absolutely simple being, completely devoid of any metaphysical complexity. On the standard understanding of this doctrine—as epitomized in the work of philosophers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas—there are no distinctions to be drawn between God and his nature, goodness, power, or wisdom. On the contrary, God is identical with each of these things, along with anything else that can be (...)
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  7.  25
    Simplicity as Evidence of Truth.Richard Swinburne - 1997 - Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.
  8. Simplicity and Model Selection.Guillaume Rochefort-Maranda - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (2):261-279.
    In this paper I compare parametric and nonparametric regression models with the help of a simulated data set. Doing so, I have two main objectives. The first one is to differentiate five concepts of simplicity and assess their respective importance. The second one is to show that the scope of the existing philosophical literature on simplicity and model selection is too narrow because it does not take the nonparametric approach into account, S112–S123, 2002; Forster and Sober in The (...)
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  9.  58
    Inductive Simplicity.Robert Ackermann - 1961 - Philosophy of Science 28 (2):152-161.
    The fact that simplicity has been linked with induction by many philosophers of science, some of whom have proposed or supported criteria of “inductive simplicity,” means that the problem must be given some serious attention. I take “inductive simplicity” as a title, however, only by way of concession to these historical treatments, since it is precisely the burden of my paper to show that there is no such thing. So much for the conclusion. I shall spend the (...)
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  10.  86
    Divine Simplicity.William F. Vallicella - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  11. Simplicity, Inference and Modelling: Keeping It Sophisticatedly Simple.Arnold Zellner, Hugo A. Keuzenkamp & Michael McAleer (eds.) - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    The idea that simplicity matters in science is as old as science itself, with the much cited example of Ockham's Razor, 'entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem': entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity. A problem with Ockham's razor is that nearly everybody seems to accept it, but few are able to define its exact meaning and to make it operational in a non-arbitrary way. Using a multidisciplinary perspective including philosophers, mathematicians, econometricians and economists, this 2002 monograph examines (...)
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  12. Divine Simplicity, Aseity, and Sovereignty.Matthew Baddorf - 2017 - Sophia 56 (3):403-418.
    The doctrine of divine simplicity has recently been ably defended, but very little work has been done considering reasons to believe God is simple. This paper begins to address this lack. I consider whether divine aseity or the related notion of divine sovereignty provide us with good reason to affirm divine simplicity. Divine complexity has sometimes been thought to imply that God would possess an efficient cause; or, alternatively, that God would be grounded by God’s constituents. I argue (...)
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  13. Simplicity in the Philosophy of Science.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2013 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:xx.
    Encyclopedia entry on the debate over simplicity/parsimony and Ockham's Razor in the philosophy of science.
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  14.  31
    Simplicity or Priority?Gregory Fowler - 2015 - In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, vol. 6. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter is a work in applied metaphysics. Recent discussions of monism and metaphysical dependence are deployed to develop a view—the doctrine of divine priority (DDP)—that is a viable alternative to the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS). DDS and the traditional motivation for it are introduced using an analogy involving Jonathan Schaffer’s distinction between two forms of monism. It is argued that DDP is an alternative to DDS by showing that it is consistent with the traditional motivation for the (...)
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  15.  43
    Simplicity in Compact Abstract Theories.Itay Ben-Yaacov - 2003 - Journal of Mathematical Logic 3 (02):163-191.
    We continue [2], developing simplicity in the framework of compact abstract theories. Due to the generality of the context we need to introduce definitions which differ somewhat from the ones use in first order theories. With these modified tools we obtain more or less classical behaviour: simplicity is characterized by the existence of a certain notion of independence, stability is characterized by simplicity and bounded multiplicity, and hyperimaginary canonical bases exist.
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  16. Induction, Simplicity and Scientific Progress.Nicholas Maxwell - 1979 - Scientia 114 (14):629-653.
    In a recent work, Popper claims to have solved the problem of induction. In this paper I argue that Popper fails both to solve the problem, and to formulate the problem properly. I argue, however, that there are aspects of Popper's approach which, when strengthened and developed, do provide a solution to at least an important part of the problem of induction, along somewhat Popperian lines. This proposed solution requires, and leads to, a new theory of the role of (...) in science, which may have helpful implications for science itself, thus actually stimulating scientific progress. (shrink)
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  17. Simplicity.Alan Baker - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  18. Divine Simplicity: A New Defense.William F. Vallicella - 1992 - Faith and Philosophy 9 (4):508-525.
    The doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is devoid of physical or metaphysical complexity, is widely believed to be incoherent. I argue that although two prominent recent attempts to defend it fail, it can be defended against the charge of obvious incoherence. The defense rests on the isolation and rejection of a crucial assumption, namely, that no property is an individual. I argue that there is nothing in our ordinary concepts of property and individual to warrant the (...)
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  19. Divine Simplicity and Divine Freedom.Brian Leftow - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:45-56.
    I explain the doctrine of divine simplicity, and reject what is now the standard way to explicate it in analytic philosophy. I show that divine simplicity imperils the claim that God is free, and argue against a popular proposal for dealing with the problem.
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  20. Absolute Simplicity.Eleonore Stump & Norman Kretzmann - 1985 - Faith and Philosophy 2 (4):353-382.
    The doctrine of God’s absolute simplicity denies the possibility of real distinctions in God. It is, e.g., impossible that God have any kind of parts or any intrinsic accidental properties, or that there be real distinctions among God’s essential properties or between any of them and God himself. After showing that some of the counter-intuitive implications of the doctrine can readily be made sense of, the authors identify the apparent incompatibility of God’s simplicity and God’s free choice as (...)
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  21.  7
    Simplicity as a Cue to Probability: Multiple Roles for Simplicity in Evaluating Explanations.Thalia H. Vrantsidis & Tania Lombrozo - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (7):e13169.
    Cognitive Science, Volume 46, Issue 7, July 2022.
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  22. Simplicity and Natural Theology.Paul Draper - 2016 - In Michael Bergmann & Jeffrey E. Brower (eds.), Reason and Faith: Themes From Swinburne. Oxford, UK: pp. 48-63.
    My project is to examine and critically discuss the role of simplicity in Swinburne’s probabilistic natural theology. After describing that role and the details of his theory of simplicity, I challenge Swinburne’s view that the criterion of simplicity is a fundamental criterion for evaluating causal explanations, proposing instead that what is right about that criterion can be derived from a more fundamental criterion of “coherence.” I close by exploring the implications of my proposal for Swinburne’s natural theology.
     
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  23. Simplicity: A Unifying Principle in Cognitive Science?Nick Chater & Paul Vitányi - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):19-22.
  24. The Simplicity Intuition and Its Hidden Influence on Philosophy of Mind.David Barnett - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):308 - 335.
    Huxley’s Explanatory Gap: There can be no explanation of how states of consciousness arise from interaction among a collection of physical things.
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  25. Divine Simplicity.Thomas Schärtl - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2):51-88.
    This paper examines a variety of approaches in order to make sense of the doctrine of divine simplicity. Discussing the implications of traditional and contemporary philosophical concepts of divine simplicity, the author argues for taking the divine nature as a stupendous substance to serve as the one and only truthmaker of statements regarding God, while we can resolve the predication problem which is caused by the idea that, as implied by divine simplicity, God is identical to his (...)
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  26. On Williamson and Simplicity in Modal Logic.Theodore Sider - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):683-698.
    According to Timothy Williamson, we should accept the simplest and most powerful second-order modal logic, and as a result accept an ontology of "bare possibilia". This general method for extracting ontology from logic is salutary, but its application in this case depends on a questionable assumption: that modality is a fundamental feature of the world.
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  27.  23
    Simplicity: A Meta-Metaphysics.Craig Dilworth - 2012 - Lexington Books.
    Simplicity provides a new logic with which to approach intellectual situations. Using the simplicity way of thinking as a tool helps clarify intellectual standpoints and conceptually problematic situations in philosophy, mathematics and physics.
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  28.  48
    Simplicity, Truth, and Probability.Kevin T. Kelly - unknown
    Simplicity has long been recognized as an apparent mark of truth in science, but it is difficult to explain why simplicity should be accorded such weight. This chapter examines some standard, statistical explanations of the role of simplicity in scientific method and argues that none of them explains, without circularity, how a reliance on simplicity could be conducive to finding true models or theories. The discussion then turns to a less familiar approach that does explain, in (...)
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  29. Divine Simplicity, Contingent Truths, and Extrinsic Models of Divine Knowing.W. Matthews Grant - 2012 - Faith and Philosophy 29 (3):254-274.
    A well-known objection to divine simplicity holds that the doctrine is incompatible with God’s contingent knowledge. I set out the objection and reject two problematic solutions. I then argue that the objection is best answered by adopting an “extrinsic model of divine knowing” according to which God’s contingent knowledge, which varies across worlds, does not involve any intrinsic variation in God. Solutions along these lines have been suggested by others. This paper advances the discussion by developing and offering partial (...)
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  30.  36
    Simplicity and Economy in Bolzano's Theory of Grounding.Stefan Roski & Antje Rumberg - 2016 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (3):469-496.
    This paper is devoted to Bolzano’s theory of grounding (Abfolge) in his Wissenschaftslehre. Bolzanian grounding is an explanatory consequence relation that is frequently considered an ancestor of the notion of metaphysical grounding. The paper focuses on two principles that concern grounding in the realm of conceptual sciences and relate to traditionally widespread ideas on explanations: the principles, namely, that grounding orders conceptual truths from simple to more complex ones (Simplicity), and that it comes along with a certain theoretical economy (...)
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  31. Divine Simplicity.Nicholas Wolterstorff - 1991 - Philosophical Perspectives 5:531-552.
  32. Simplicity and Creation.Timothy O’Connor - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):405-412.
    According to many philosophical theologians, God is metaphysically simple: there is no real distinction among His attributes or even between attribute and existence itself. Here, I consider only one argument against the simplicity thesis. Its proponents claim that simplicity is incompatible with God’s having created another world, since simplicity entails that God is unchanging across possible worlds. For, they argue, different acts of creation involve different willings, which are distinct intrinsic states. I show that this is mistaken, (...)
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  33.  40
    Simplicity, one-shot hypotheses and paleobiological explanation.Adrian Currie - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):10.
    Paleobiologists often provide simple narratives to explain complex, contingent episodes. These narratives are sometimes ‘one-shot hypotheses’ which are treated as being mutually exclusive with other possible explanations of the target episode, and are thus extended to accommodate as much about the episode as possible. I argue that a provisional preference for such hypotheses provides two kinds of productive scaffolding. First, they generate ‘hypothetical difference-makers’: one-shot hypotheses highlight and isolate empirically tractable dependencies between variables. Second, investigations of hypothetical difference-makers provision explanatory (...)
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  34.  68
    Divine Simplicity.William E. Mann - 1982 - Religious Studies 18 (4):451 - 471.
    In The City of God, XI, 10, St Augustine claims that the divine nature is simple because ‘it is what it has’ (quod habet hoc est). We may take this as a slogan for the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity (DDS), a doctrine which finds its way into orthodox medieval Christian theological speculation. Like the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the DDS has seemed obvious and pious to many, and incoherent, misguided, and repugnant to others. Unlike the doctrine of God's (...)
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  35. Is Simplicity an Adequate Criterion of Theory Choice.Julia Göhner, Marie I. Kaiser & Christian Suhm - 2008 - In N. Mößner, S. Schmoranzer & C. Weidemann (eds.), Richard Swinburne. Frankfurt/Main, GER: ontos. pp. 33-45.
    According to Richard Swinburne, the principle of simplicity is of great importance to theory choice scenarios and theoretical changes in the sciences. In particular, he holds that the theory choice criterion of fit with background evidence can be reduced to the criteria of simplicity and of yielding the data. We will, however, rebut this reduction thesis and show that three central aspects of theoretical change (confirming power of empirical data, reliability of experimental methods, and truth of new theoretical (...)
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  36.  9
    Simplicity Theory.Byunghan Kim - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    An up-to-date account of the current techniques and results in Simplicity Theory, which has been a focus of research in model theory for the last decade. Suitable for logicians, mathematicians and graduate students working on model theory.
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  37. Divine Simplicity.Brian Leftow - 2006 - Faith and Philosophy 23 (4):365-380.
    Augustine, Aquinas and many other medievals held the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS) -that God has no parts of any sort. Augustine took this to imply that for any non-relational attribute F, if God is F, God = Fness. This can seem to create three problems. I set them out. Having done so, I show that Augustine's DDS is set within a view of attributes now unfamiliar to us. When we bring this into the picture, it turns out that (...)
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  38.  87
    Simulation, Simplicity, and Selection: An Evolutionary Perspective on High-Level Mindreading. [REVIEW]Armin Schulz - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):271 - 285.
    In this paper, I argue that a natural selection-based perspective gives reasons for thinking that the core of the ability to mindread cognitively complex mental states is subserved by a simulationist process—that is, that it relies on nonspecialised mechanisms in the attributer's cognitive architecture whose primary function is the generation of her own decisions and inferences. In more detail, I try to establish three conclusions. First, I try to make clearer what the dispute between simulationist and non-simulationist theories of mindreading (...)
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  39. The Virtue of Simplicity.Joshua Colt Gambrel & Philip Cafaro - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):85-108.
    In this paper we explore material simplicity, defined as the virtue disposing us to act appropriately within the sphere of our consumer decisions. Simplicity is a conscientious and restrained attitude toward material goods that typically includes (1) decreased consumption and (2) a more conscious consumption; hence (3) greater deliberation regarding our consumer decisions; (4) a more focused life in general; and (5) a greater and more nuanced appreciation for other things besides material goods, and also for (6) material (...)
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  40.  45
    Theoretical Simplicity and Defeasibility.Evan Fales - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (2):273-288.
    Theoretical simplicity is difficult to characterize, and evidently can depend upon a number of distinct factors. One such desirable characteristic is that the laws of a theory have relatively few "counterinstances" whose accommodation requires the invocation of a ceteris paribus condition and ancillary explanation. It is argued that, when one theory is reduced to another, such that the laws of the second govern the behavior of the parts of the entities in the domain of the first, there is a (...)
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  41. Against Divine Truthmaker Simplicity.Noël B. Saenz - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (4):460-474.
    Divine Simplicity has it that God is absolutely simple. God exhibits no metaphysical complexity; he has neither proper parts nor distinct intrinsic properties. Recently, Jeffrey Brower has put forward an account of divine simplicity that has it that God is the truthmaker for all intrinsic essential predications about him. This allows Brower to preserve the intuitive thought that God is not a property but a concrete being. In this paper, I provide two objections to Brower’s account that are (...)
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  42.  11
    Simplicity in the Sciences and Humanities: Report on the Bonn “Simplicities and Complexities” Conference.Cristin Chall & Niels C. M. Martens - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (3):491-497.
    A report on the 2019 Bonn “Simplicities and Complexities” Conference, organized by "The Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider" research unit.
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  43. Divine Simplicity and the Eternal Truths: Descartes and the Scholastics.Andrew Pessin - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (1):69-105.
    Descartes famously endorsed the view that (CD) God freely created the eternal truths, such that He could have done otherwise than He did. This controversial doctrine is much discussed in recent secondary literature, yet Descartes’s actual arguments for CD have received very little attention. In this paper I focus on what many take to be a key Cartesian argument for CD: that divine simplicity entails the dependence of the eternal truths on the divine will. What makes this argument both (...)
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  44. The Simplicity of Other Minds.Paul Ziff - 1965 - Journal of Philosophy 62 (October):575-84.
  45. The Simplicity of the Simple Approach to Personal Identity.Andrea Sauchelli - 2019 - In Luca Bellotti, Luca Gili, Giacomo Turbanti & Enrico Moriconi (eds.), Third Pisa Colloquium in Logic, Language and Epistemology. Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy: pp. 347-358.
    I provide a simple solution to the problem of determining the characterising feature(s) of the simple approach to personal identity, sometimes also called the simple view: instead of focusing on claims regarding the analysability, reducibility, or triviality of the concepts used in simple theories of personal identity, I propose instead a metaphysical criterion to define this approach. In particular, I claim that the simple approach is (best seen as) that family of theories according to which personal identity is a relation (...)
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  46. The Simplicity of Theories: Its Degree and Form. [REVIEW]James W. McAllister - 1991 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 22 (1):1-14.
    Almost all commentators acknowledge that among the grounds on which scientists perform theory-choices are criteria of simplicity. In general, simplicity is regarded either as only a logico-empirical quality of a theory, diagnostic of the theory's future predictive success, or as a purely aesthetic or otherwise extra-empirical property of it. This paper attempts to demonstrate that the simplicity-criteria applied in scientific practice include both a logico-empirical and a quasi-aesthetic criterion: to conflate these in an account of scientists' theory-choice (...)
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  47. Simplicity Made Difficult. [REVIEW]John MacFarlane - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):441 - 448.
  48. Is Simplicity Evidence of Truth?Adolf GrüNbaum - 2007 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 61:261-275.
    In a short 1997 book entitled Simplicity as Evidence of Truth, the Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne has put forward the following thesis summarily: ‘… for theories rendering equally probable our observational data, fitting equally well with background knowledge, the simplest is most probably true’.
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  49. Beauty Is Not Simplicity: An Analysis of Mathematicians' Proof Appraisals.Matthew Inglis & Andrew Aberdein - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (1):87-109.
    What do mathematicians mean when they use terms such as ‘deep’, ‘elegant’, and ‘beautiful’? By applying empirical methods developed by social psychologists, we demonstrate that mathematicians' appraisals of proofs vary on four dimensions: aesthetics, intricacy, utility, and precision. We pay particular attention to mathematical beauty and show that, contrary to the classical view, beauty and simplicity are almost entirely unrelated in mathematics.
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  50. Simplicity, and Stability in There.Byunghan Kim - 2001 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 66 (2):822-836.
    Firstly, in this paper, we prove that the equivalence of simplicity and the symmetry of forking. Secondly, we attempt to recover definability part of stability theory to simplicity theory. In particular, using elimination of hyperimaginaries we prove that for any supersimple T, canonical base of an amalgamation class P is the union of names of ψ-definitions of P, ψ ranging over stationary L-formulas in P. Also, we prove that the same is true with stable formulas for an 1-based (...)
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