Cost-benefit analysis methods in philosophy

Allow me to begin with a distinction. An A-camp , and the B-camp. A’s purport an idea of a truth and a conceivable reality that can be captured by the perfect lens. A’s generally (but don’t have to) have a desideratum to give an ontology and would like to be apodictic in certainty.

The B’s; by contrast, are those who abide by general abstract principles to guide their method. I would like to talk about a particular principle in recent philosophy, something which I find flirted with by David Lewis and his followers.

  1. We need the most cogent model
  2. We need the model which trumps the others
  3. We need the model with the least problems
  4. We need the model which has the best strengt
  5. In deciding a theory; this is our key desideratum: to find the model which has the least problems, we are constantly trying not to make more problems for ourselves by explaining more, but if we explain too little, the theory becomes increasingly irrelevant.
  6. We desire to say as much as we can, without getting shot in the foot with philosophical error.

This is an interesting strategy, but it is a little bit alien to me. I think I need to update my bookshelf…



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