Likelihood and consilience : on Forster’s counterexamples to the likelihood theory of evidence


Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


Forster presented some interesting examples having to do with distinguishing the direction of causal influence between two variables, which he argued are counterexamples to the likelihood theory of evidence. In this article, we refute Forster’s arguments by carefully examining one of the alleged counterexamples. We argue that the example is not convincing as it relies on dubious intuitions that likelihoodists have forcefully criticized. More important, we show that contrary to Forster’s contention, the consilience-based methodology he favored is accountable within the framework of the likelihood theory of evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-940
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


Bibliographical note

Paper presented at the Meeting of the Philosophy-of-Science-Association (PSA), Nov 06-09, 2014, Chicago, Illinois.
This research was supported in part by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong under the General Research Fund LU342213.

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