Quantitative Parsimony

Daniel Patrick Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, I motivate the view that quantitative parsimony is a theoretical virtue: that is, we should be concerned not only to minimize the number of kinds of entities postulated by our theories (i.e. maximize qualitative parsimony), but we should also minimize the number of entities postulated which fall under those kinds. In order to motivate this view, I consider two cases from the history of science: the postulation of the neutrino and the proposal of Avogadro's hypothesis. I also consider two issues concerning how a principle of quantitative parsimony should be framed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-343
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Volume48
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative Parsimony'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this