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Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki

Volume 1 of the series European Studies in Philosophy of Science pp 305-316

Robustness, Diversity of Evidence, and Probabilistic Independence

  • Jonah N. SchupbachAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, University of Utah Email author 

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Abstract

In robustness analysis, hypotheses are supported to the extent that a result proves robust, and a result is robust to the extent that we detect it in diverse ways. But what precise sense of diversity is at work here? In this paper, I show that the formal explications of evidential diversity most often appealed to in work on robustness – which all draw in one way or another on probabilistic independence – fail to shed light on the notion of diversity relevant to robustness analysis. I close by briefly outlining a promising alternative approach inspired by Horwich’s (Probability and evidence. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1982) eliminative account of evidential diversity.

Keywords

Robustness analysis Evidential diversity Probabilistic independence Probability Confirmation theory Eliminativism