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pp 1–17

First Online: 27 April 2017Received: 17 November 2016Accepted: 10 April 2017DOI: 10.1007-s11229-017-1408-x

Cite this article as: Dawid, R. & Hartmann, S. Synthese 2017. doi:10.1007-s11229-017-1408-x


According to an argument by Colin Howson, the no-miracles argument NMA is contingent on committing the base-rate fallacy and is therefore bound to fail. We demonstrate that Howson’s argument only applies to one of two versions of the NMA. The other version, which resembles the form in which the argument was initially presented by Putnam and Boyd, remains unaffected by his line of reasoning. We provide a formal reconstruction of that version of the NMA and show that it is valid. Finally, we demonstrate that the use of subjective priors is consistent with the realist implication of the NMA and show that a core worry with respect to the suggested form of the NMA can be dispelled.

KeywordsNo miracles argument Scientific realism Base rate fallacy Bayesianism 

Autor: Richard Dawid - Stephan Hartmann


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