TALK: Kevin T. Kelly and Hanti Lin: Ockham's Razors – University of Copenhagen

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TALK: Kevin T. Kelly and Hanti Lin: Ockham's Razors

TALK: Kevin T. Kelly and Hanti Lin: Ockham's Razors

Ockham's Razors

Kevin T. Kelly and Hanti Lin
Carnegie Mellon University

Ockham's razor is perhaps the most characteristic principle of
scientific theory choice.  Ever since the principle played a major role
in the Copernican revolution, it has occasioned two perennial
questions:
 (1) what is empirical simplicity? and (2) why should someone
interested in finding true theories favor simpler theories?   We propose
new, logical answers.   We explicate simplicity in terms of the logical
structure of a question under discussion and then argue that various
versions of Ockham's razor are optimally truth-conducive, depending on
how one conceives of optimal convergence to the truth.  The resulting
Ockham's razors are similar to and yet distinct from standard theories
of belief revision.   Also, Gettier-like considerations emerge directly
from truth-conduciveness.  The talk should interest anyone concerned
with scientific method and rationality.

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