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UNCORRECTEDPROOF 1 Justification as Truth-Finding Efficiency: How

1 Justification as Truth-Finding Efficiency: How
2 Ockham's Razor Works
4 College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon
5 University, Baker Hall 135, Pittburgh, PA 15213, USA; E-mail: kk3n@andrew.cmu.edu
6 Abstract. I propose that empirical procedures, like computational procedures, are justified in
7 terms of truth-finding efficiency. I contrast the idea with more standard philosophies of science
8 and illustrate it by deriving Ockham's razor from the aim of minimizing dramatic changes of
9 opinion en route to the truth.
10 Key words: confirmation, convergence, mind-changes, model-selection, naturalism, Ockham,
11 learning, simplicity
12 1. Introduction
13 The philosophy of science divides, roughly, into two schools. Confirmation
14 theorists seek to explicate the concept of empirical justification a priori by
15 systematizing intuitive reactions to various historical episodes and case
16 studies. Epistemological naturalists view scientific practice as an empirical
17 subject in its own right and seek to determine by empirical means which sorts
18 of methods are well-adapted to finding the truth. The two groups tend to
19 view the topic of this special journal issue the relationship between com-


Source: Andrews, Peter B. - Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University


Collections: Mathematics