Hypothesis Competition beyond Mutual Exclusivity

Jonah N. Schupbach, David H. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Competition between scientific hypotheses is not always a matter of mutual exclusivity. Consistent hypotheses can compete to varying degrees either directly or indirectly via a body of evidence. We motivate and defend a particular account of hypothesis competition by showing how it captures these features. Computer simulations of Bayesian inference are used to highlight the limitations of adopting mutual exclusivity as a simplifying assumption to model scientific reasoning, particularly due to the exclusion of hypotheses that may be true. We end with a case study demonstrating the subtleties involved in hypothesis competition in scientific practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-824
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Competition
  • Bayesian inference
  • scientific reasoning
  • computer simulations

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Hypothesis Competition beyond Mutual Exclusivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Research Output

    • 8 Citations
    • 1 Article

    Competing hypotheses and abductive inference

    Glass, D. H., 6 May 2019, In : Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. p. 1-18 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    16 Downloads (Pure)

    Cite this