Synthese

, Volume 122, Issue 3, pp 291–311 | Cite as

A Fuzzy Measure for Explanatory Coherence

  • Daniel Schoch

Abstract

In a series of articles, Paul Thagard has developed a connectionist's modelfor the evaluation of explanatory coherence for competing systems ofhypotheses. He has successfully applied it to various examples from thehistory of science and common language reasoning. However, I will argue thathis formalism does not adequately represent explanatory relations betweenmore than two propositions.In this paper, I develop a generalization of Thagard's approach. It is notsubject to the connectionist paradigm of neural nets, but is based on fuzzylogic: Explanatory coherence increases with the fuzzy truth value of theconjunction of explanans and explanandum and decreases with the value of theconjunction of explanans and the negation of the explanandum.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bartelborth, T.: 1996, Begrüundungsstrategien, Akademie Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  2. Bartelborth, T.: 1997, 'Scientific Explanation', in: W. Balzer and U. Moulines (eds), Structuralists Theory of Science. Focal Issues, New Results. W. de Gruyter, Berlin.Google Scholar
  3. BonJour, L.: 1985, The Structure of Empirical Knowledge, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  4. Gäahde, U.: 1989, Theorie und Hypothese, Habilitationsschrift, Bielefeld.Google Scholar
  5. Gottwald, S.: 1993, Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Logic, Vieweg, Wiesbaden.Google Scholar
  6. Kitcher, P. and W. C. Salmon (eds.): 1989, Scientific Explanation, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science.Google Scholar
  7. Redhead, M.: 1989, Explanation, Preprint.Google Scholar
  8. Thagard, P.: 1989, 'Explanatory Coherence', Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12, 435–502.Google Scholar
  9. Thagard, P.: 1998, Coherence Articles, Internet page, http: //cogsci.uwaterloo.ca/Articles/Pages/Coherence.html.Google Scholar
  10. Watkins, J.: 1984, Science and Scepticism, Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Schoch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department 5.1 – PhilosophySaarbrückenGermany

Personalised recommendations