"Does A Parsimony Principle Entail a Simple World?"
Many scholars claim that a parsimony principle has ontological
implications. The most common such claim is that a parsimony
principle entails that the "world" is simple. This ontological claim
appears to often be coupled with the assumption that a parsimony
principle would be corroborated if the "world" were simple. I clarify
these claims, describe some minimal features of simplicity, and then
show that both these claims are either false or they depend upon an
implausible notion of simplicity. In their stead, I propose a minimal
ontological claim: a parsimony principle entails a minimal realism
about the existence of objects and laws, in order to allow that the
descriptions of the relevant phenomena contain patterns.
Metaphysica. Volume 12, Number 2: 87-100.