Philosophical Applications of Kolmogorov’s Complexity Measure

  • Itzhak Gilboa
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 236)


The basic question of how people choose theories to explain observations has justifiably drawn much attention and received numerous and various possible answers. In particular, it will certainly not be a shockingly new idea to suggest that people opt for the simplest possible theory, i.e., the simplest theory out of those that are compatible with accumulated evidence. (As an explicitly descriptive theory this idea dates back to Wittgenstein (1922) at the latest, while with a slightly more normative flavor it is often attributed to William of Occam —see, e.g., Russell (1945, pp. 468–473), and Sober (1975) for additional references.)


Scientific Theory Turing Machine Choice Function Complexity Measure Simple Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Itzhak Gilboa
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityUSA

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