Statistical Explanation and Statistical Relevance
According to modern physics, many objectively improbable events actually occur, such as the spontaneous disintegration of radioactive atoms. Because of high levels of improbability, scientists are often at a loss to explain such phenomena. In this main essay of this book, Wesley Salmon offers a solution to scientific explanation based on the concept of statistical relevance (the S-R model). In this vein, the other two essays herein discuss “Statistical Relevance vs. Statistical Inference,” and “Explanation and Information.”
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Aspects of Scientific atoms attribute Carl G Carnap causal causal explanation characterization concept conclusion conditional probabilities conditions of adequacy correct Deductive-Nomological degree of confirmation discussion ence class epistemic homogeneity equation example explanandum event explanans explanatory facts explanatory power flagpole foregoing frequency interpretation given Greeno Hempel homogeneous reference class ice cube improbable inductive explanation inductive inference inductive logic inductive probability information transmitted inhomogeneous irrelevant knowledge low entropy maximal specificity molecules necessary conditions occurrence original reference class paresis particular events Philosophy of Science place selection planation posterior weight predictions premises prior probability prior weight problem question radioactive decay reason Reichenbach relation relative frequency requirement of maximal requirement of total rule S-R explanation Scientific Explanation screening-off seems sequence single events statements statistical explanation Statistical Inference statistically relevant partition subclasses suppose syphilis table salt temporal asymmetry theoretical theory tion tosses total evidence uncertainty untreated latent syphilis variables vitamin