Abstract: In the recent literature, two opposing ways of thinking about the relationship between Explanationism & Bayesianism have emerged. On one side are authors including van Fraassen and Douven who have tried to accommodate Explanationist intuitions via revisions of the fundamental structural Bayesian requirements of rationality. On the other side are authors including Roche & Sober and Lange who have proposed that Bayesians should understand Explanationism in substantive, confirmation-theoretic terms. I will begin by explaining the difference between structural vs substantive Bayesian rationality. Then, using this distinction, I will discuss the two opposing ways of reconciling Explanationism & Bayesianism. In the end, I will side with those who take Explanationism to be a substantive -- rather than a structural -- Bayesian constraint. I will also explain why I disagree with the skeptical arguments of Roche & Sober regarding the prospects of reconciling Explanationism and Bayesianism.
Noyce Conference Room
US Mountain Time
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Branden FitelsonDistinguished Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University