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.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Philosophy of Science|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2017|
- Bayesian inference
- scientific reasoning
- computer simulations