『Ockham's Razors: A User's Manual』

Elliott Sober

(2015年7月刊行,Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, x+314 pp., ISBN:9781107068490 [hbk] → 版元ページ

Acknowledgments x
Introduction 1

1. A history of parsimony in thin slices (from Aristotle to Morgan) 4

The naming ceremony 4
Aristotle's principle that nature does nothing in vain 6
How Ockham wields his razor 9
Geocentric and heliocentric astronomy 12
Descartes and Leibniz on God and the laws of nature 22
Descartes's derivations 24
Leibnitz on the best of all possible worlds 26
Newton on avoiding the luxury of superfluous causes 33
Hume on the principle of the uniformity of nature 37
Kant's demotion of God 40
Whewell's consilience of inductions 44
Mill tries to cut the razor down to size 49
James Clerk Maxwell, the evangelical physicist 50
Morgan's canon 51
Concluding comments 58

2. The probabilistic turn 61

Two philosophies of probability 61
A probability primer and the basics of Bayesianism 64
Ockham's razor for Bayesians 84
Two kinds of prior probability 85
Jeffrey's simplicity postulate 87
Popper's objection to Jeffrey's postulate 91
Popper, falsifiability, and corroboration 93
Popper's characterization of simplicity 97
Parsimony and non-first priors 99
Likelihoods and common causes 102
On similarity 119
A three-way Reichenbachian distinction 120
Bayesian Ockham's razor 123
Frequentism and adjustable parameters 128
How many causes for a single effect? 135
Bayesian model selection 138
The world of model selection 140
How the two parsimony paradigms differ 141
Why a false model can be more predictively accurate (and closer to the truth) than a true one 145
What the two parsimony paradigms have in common 147
Concluding comments 148

3. Parsimony in evolutionary biology ― phylogenetic inference 153

Common ancestry 154
Some history 162
Ockham meets Markov 169
Two models that entail mirroring 176
Symplesiomorphies 178
The Smith/Quackdoodle theorem 180
Estimating character states of ancestors ― two examples in which mirroring fails 181
Another criterion ― statistical consistency 184
Still another criterion ― when is parsimony more reliable than guessing? 188
Forwards and backwards 189
Estimating the character state of a leaf ― anthropomorphism and comparative psychology 190
Parsimony old and new 197
Concluding comments 197
Appendices 200

4. Parsimony in psychology ― chimpanzee mind-reading 207

Experiments 209
Conflicting interpretations 212
Whiten's arrows 215
The two parsimony paradigms 217
Lessons from the blackbox 221
A different mind-reading model that also entails no screening-off 226
Learning and screening-off 227
Associations, correlations, and testing 229
Parsimony redux 231
A cross-chimpanzee comparison that is not about screening-off 232
Behaviorism versus mentalism 234
Concluding comments 239

5. Parsimony in philosophy 244

Naturalisms 244
Atheism and the problem of evil 246
Absence of evidence and evidence of absence 252
The mind/body problem 253
The causal efficacy of the mental 260
Moral realism 264
Misinterpreting screening-off 268
Nominalism and Platonism about mathematics 272
Solipsism 276
The problem of induction 283
Concluding comments 286

References 291
Index 309