The Bayesian Treatment of Auxiliary Hypotheses

Published: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52, 515–537, 2001

Abstract: This paper examines the standard Bayesian solution to the Quine-Duhem problem, the problem of distributing blame between a theory and the auxiliary hypotheses in the aftermath of a failed prediction. The standard solution, I argue, begs the question against those who claim that the problem has no solution. I then provide an alternative Bayesian solution that is not question-begging and that turns out to have some interesting and desirable properties not possessed by the standard solution.

See a PDF version of "The Bayesian Treatment of Auxiliary Hypotheses".

See my reply to Fitelson and Waterman's critique of this paper.