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  1. Günter Abel (ed.) (2005). Kreativität. Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin.
  2. M. Abraham, Dov M. Gabbay & U. Schild (2009). Analysis of the Talmudic Argumentum a Fortiori Inference Rule (Kal Vachomer) Using Matrix Abduction. Studia Logica 92 (3):281 - 364.
    We motivate and introduce a new method of abduction, Matrix Abduction, and apply it to modelling the use of non-deductive inferences in the Talmud such as Analogy and the rule of Argumentum A Fortiori. Given a matrix with entries in {0, 1}, we allow for one or more blank squares in the matrix, say a i , j =?. The method allows us to decide whether to declare a i , j = 0 or a i , j = 1 (...)
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  3. James Andow (2016). Abduction by Philosophers: Reorienting Philosophical Methodology. Metaphilosophy 47 (3):353-370.
    A reorientation is needed in methodological debate about the role of intuitions in philosophy. Methodological debate has lost sight of the reason why it makes sense to focus on questions about intuitions when thinking about the methods or epistemology of philosophy. The problem is an approach to methodology that focuses almost exclusively on questions about some evidential role that intuitions may or may not play in philosophers’ arguments. A new approach is needed. Approaching methodological questions about the role of intuitions (...)
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  4. David B. Annis (1982). Knowledge and Inference to the Best Explanation — a Reply. Philosophia 12 (1-2):77-79.
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  5. Guy Axtell (2003). Review of Lynn Holt, Apprehension: Reason in the Absence of Rules. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (9).
  6. Gregor Betz (2013). Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures. Synthese 190 (16):3553-3578.
    This article discusses how inference to the best explanation can be justified as a practical meta - argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in — and relative to — a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a meta - argument. (...)
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  7. Alexander Bird (2005). Abductive Knowledge and Holmesian Inference. In Tamar Szabo Gendler John Hawthorne (ed.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press 1--31.
    The usual, comparative, conception of Inference to the Best Explanation takes it to be ampliative. In this paper I propose a conception of IBE that takes it to be a species of eliminative induction and hence not ampliative. This avoids several problems for comparative IBE. My account of Holmesian inference raises the suspicion that it could never be applied, on the grounds that scientific hypotheses are inevitably underdetermined by the evidence. I argue that this concern may be resisted by acknowledging, (...)
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  8. David Botting (2013). A Priori Abduction. Argumentation 27 (2):167-181.
    While “All events have a cause” is a synthetic statement making a factual claim about the world, “All effects have a cause” is analytic. When we take an event as an effect, no inference is required to deduce that it has a cause since this is what it means to be an effect. Some examples often given in the literature as examples of abduction work in the same way through semantic facts that follow from the way our beliefs represent those (...)
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  9. Jacob Busch (2012). Can the New Indispensability Argument Be Saved From Euclidean Rescues? Synthese 187 (2):489-508.
    The traditional formulation of the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical entities (IA) has been criticised due to its reliance on confirmational holism. Recently a formulation of IA that works without appeal to confirmational holism has been defended. This recent formulation is meant to be superior to the traditional formulation in virtue of it not being subject to the kind of criticism that pertains to confirmational holism. I shall argue that a proponent of the version of IA that works (...)
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  10. Jacob Busch (2011). Is the Indispensability Argument Dispensable? Theoria 77 (2):139-158.
    When the indispensability argument for mathematical entities (IA) is spelled out, it would appear confirmational holism is needed for the argument to work. It has been argued that confirmational holism is a dispensable premise in the argument if a construal of naturalism, according to which it is denied that we can take different epistemic attitudes towards different parts of our scientific theories, is adopted. I argue that the suggested variety of naturalism will only appeal to a limited number of philosophers. (...)
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  11. Marcoen J. T. F. Cabbolet, Temorarily Unavailable.
  12. Frank Cabrera (forthcoming). Cladistic Parsimony, Historical Linguistics, and Cultural Phylogenetics. Mind and Language.
    Here, I consider the recent application of phylogenetic methods in historical linguistics. After a preliminary survey of one such method, i.e. cladistic parsimony, I respond to two common criticisms of cultural phylogenies: (1) that cultural artifacts cannot be modeled as tree-like because of borrowing across lineages, and (2) that the mechanism of cultural change differs radically from that of biological evolution. I argue that while perhaps (1) remains true for certain cultural artifacts, the nature of language may be such as (...)
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  13. Frank Cabrera (forthcoming). Can There Be a Bayesian Explanationism? On the Prospects of a Productive Partnership. Synthese:1-28.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism, both of which are well-known accounts of the nature of scientific inference. In Sect. 2, I give a brief overview of Bayesianism and IBE. In Sect. 3, I argue that IBE in its most prominently defended forms is difficult to reconcile with Bayesianism because not all of the items that feature on popular lists of “explanatory virtues”—by means of which IBE ranks competing explanations—have confirmational import. (...)
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  14. Gustavo Cevolani (2013). Truth Approximation Via Abductive Belief Change. Logic Journal of the IGPL 21 (6):999-1016.
    We investigate the logical and conceptual connections between abductive reasoning construed as a process of belief change, on the one hand, and truth approximation, construed as increasing (estimated) verisimilitude, on the other. We introduce the notion of ‘(verisimilitude-guided) abductive belief change’ and discuss under what conditions abductively changing our theories or beliefs does lead them closer to the truth, and hence tracks truth approximation conceived as the main aim of inquiry. The consequences of our analysis for some recent discussions concerning (...)
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  15. Nevin Climenhaga (forthcoming). How Explanation Guides Confirmation. Philosophy of Science.
    Where E is the proposition that [If H and O were true, H would explain O], William Roche and Elliot Sober have argued that P(H|O&E) = P(H|O). In this paper I argue that not only is this equality not generally true, it is false in the very kinds of cases that Roche and Sober focus on, involving frequency data. In fact, in such cases O raises the probability of H only given that there is an explanatory connection between them.
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  16. Nevin Climenhaga (forthcoming). Inference to the Best Explanation Made Incoherent. Journal of Philosophy.
    Defenders of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) claim that explanatory factors should play an important role in empirical inference. They disagree, however, about how exactly to formulate this role. In particular, they disagree about whether to formulate IBE as an inference rule for full beliefs or for degrees of belief, and, if it is formulated as a rule for degrees of belief, how this rule relates to Bayesianism. In this essay I advance a new argument against non-Bayesian versions of (...)
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  17. Matteo Colombo & Dominik Klein, Mystery, Explanation, and Credence.
    How should the information that a proposition p is a mystery impact your credence in p? To answer this question, we first provide a taxonomy of mysteries; then, we develop a test to distinguish two types of mysteries. When faced with mysteries of the first type, rational epistemic agents should lower their credence in p upon learning that p is a mystery. The same information should not impact agents’ credence in p, when they face mysteries of the second type. Our (...)
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  18. Matteo Colombo, Marie Postma & Jan Sprenger, Explanatory Value and Probabilistic Reasoning: An Empirical Study.
    The relation between probabilistic and explanatory reasoning is a classical topic in philosophy of science. Most philosophical analyses are concerned with the compatibility of Inference to the Best Explanation with probabilistic, Bayesian inference, and the impact of explanatory considerations on the assignment of subjective probabilities. This paper reverses the question and asks how causal and explanatory considerations are affected by probabilistic information. We investigate how probabilistic information determines the explanatory value of a hypothesis, and in which sense folk explanatory practice (...)
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  19. Gregory W. Dawes (2013). Belief is Not the Issue: A Defence of Inference to the Best Explanation. Ratio 26 (1):62-78.
    Defences of inference to the best explanation (IBE) frequently associate IBE with scientific realism, the idea that it is reasonable to believe our best scientific theories. I argue that this linkage is unfortunate. IBE does not warrant belief, since the fact that a theory is the best available explanation does not show it to be (even probably) true. What IBE does warrant is acceptance: taking a proposition as a premise in theoretical and/or practical reasoning. We ought to accept our best (...)
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  20. Xavier de Donato Rodríguez (2007). Idealization, Abduction, and Progressive Scientific Change. Theoria 22 (3):331-338.
    After a brief comparison of Aliseda’s account with different approaches to abductive reasoning, I relate abduction, as studied by Aliseda, to idealization, a notion which also occupies a very important role in scientific change, as well as to different ways of dealing with the growth of scientific knowledge understood as a particular kind of non-monotonic process. A particularly interesting kind of abductive reasoning could be that of finding an appropriate concretization case for a theory, originally revealed as extraordinarily success-ful but (...)
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  21. Noemi De Haro García & María G. Navarro (2012). Conjectural Paradigm and Empathy as Embodied Mechanism. Purlieu. A Philosophical Journal 1 (4):83-96.
    In this paper art history and visual studies, the disciplines that study visual culture, are presented as a field whose conjectural paradigm can be used to understand the epistemic problems associated with abduction. In order to do so, significant statements, concepts and arguments from the work of several specialists in this field have been highlighted. Their analysis shows the fruitfulness and potential for understanding the study of visual culture as a field that is interwoven with the assumptions of abductive cognition.
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  22. Finnur Dellsén (forthcoming). Review of Reason and Explanation: A Defense of Explanatory Coheretism, by Ted Poston. [REVIEW] Dialectica.
  23. Finnur Dellsén (2016). Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument. Theoria 82 (3):217-237.
    Although many aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation have been extensively discussed, very little has so far been said about what it takes for a hypothesis to count as a rival explanatory hypothesis in the context of IBE. The primary aim of this article is to rectify this situation by arguing for a specific account of explanatory rivalry. On this account, explanatory rivals are complete explanations of a given explanandum. When explanatory rivals are conceived of in this way, I (...)
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  24. Finnur Dellsén (2015). Tvö viðhorf til vísindalegrar þekkingar -- eða eitt? Ritið -- Tímarit Hugvísindastofnunar 15 (1):135-155.
    There are two main approaches to the epistemology of science. On the one hand, some hold that a scientific hypothesis is confirmed to the extent that the hypothesis explains the evidence better than alternative hypotheses concerning the same subject-matter. This idea is often referred to as Inference to the Best Explanation. On the other hand, some hold that a scientific hypothesis is confirmed to the extent that the hypothesis is probable given the evidence. This idea is often associated with Bayesianism (...)
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  25. Heather Douglas (2014). The Value of Cognitive Values. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):796-806.
    Traditionally, cognitive values have been thought of as a collective pool of considerations in science that frequently trade against each other. I argue here that a finer-grained account of the value of cognitive values can help reduce such tensions. I separate the values into groups, minimal epistemic criteria, pragmatic considerations, and genuine epistemic assurance, based in part on the distinction between values that describe theories per se and values that describe theory-evidence relationships. This allows us to clarify why these values (...)
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  26. Heather Douglas (2012). Weighing Complex Evidence in a Democratic Society. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 22 (2):139-162.
    Weighing complex sets of evidence (i.e., from multiple disciplines and often divergent in implications) is increasingly central to properly informed decision-making. Determining “where the weight of evidence lies” is essential both for making maximal use of available evidence and figuring out what to make of such evidence. Weighing evidence in this sense requires an approach that can handle a wide range of evidential sources (completeness), that can combine the evidence with rigor, and that can do so in a way other (...)
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  27. Igor Douven (1999). Inference to the Best Explanation Made Coherent. Philosophy of Science 66 (Supplement):S424-S435.
    Van Fraassen (1989) argues that Inference to the Best Explanation is incoherent in the sense that adopting it as a rule for belief change will make one susceptible to a dynamic Dutch book. The present paper argues against this. A strategy is described that allows us to infer to the best explanation free of charge.
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  28. David L. Dowe, Steve Gardner & and Graham Oppy (2007). Bayes Not Bust! Why Simplicity Is No Problem for Bayesians. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):709 - 754.
    The advent of formal definitions of the simplicity of a theory has important implications for model selection. But what is the best way to define simplicity? Forster and Sober ([1994]) advocate the use of Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC), a non-Bayesian formalisation of the notion of simplicity. This forms an important part of their wider attack on Bayesianism in the philosophy of science. We defend a Bayesian alternative: the simplicity of a theory is to be characterised in terms of Wallace's Minimum (...)
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  29. Lefteris Farmakis & Stephan Hartmann (2005). Review of Inference to the Best Explanation by Peter Lipton. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (6).
  30. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2005). Kreativität Im Denken. Eine Kritik des Reliabilitätsarguments von John D. Norton Gegen Rationalistische Epistemologien Zur Methode des Gedankenexperiments. In Günter Abel (ed.), Kreativität. Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
    In this paper I argue that Norton's case against Brown's rationalism about thought experiments suffers from serious shortcomings, which relate to the nature of induction.
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  31. Robert William Fischer (2013). Why It Doesn't Matter Whether the Virtues Are Truth-Conducive. Synthese 191 (6):1-15.
    A potential explanation of a fact is a hypothesis such that, if it were true, it would explain the fact in question. Let’s suppose that we become aware of a fact and some potential explanations thereof. Let’s also suppose that we would like to believe the truth. Given this aim, we can ask two questions. First, is it likely that one of these hypotheses is true? Second, given an affirmative answer to the first question, which one is it likely to (...)
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  32. Barry Hallen (1970). Boldness and Caution in the Methodology and Social Philosophy of Karl Popper. Dissertation, Boston University Graduate School
  33. Valeriano Iranzo (2008). Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation. Theoria 23 (1):89-106.
    Bayesianism and Inference to the best explanation (IBE) are two different models of inference. Recently there has been some debate about the possibility of “bayesianizing” IBE. Firstly I explore several alternatives to include explanatory considerations in Bayes’s Theorem. Then I distinguish two different interpretationsof prior probabilities: “IBE-Bayesianism” (IBE-Bay) and “frequentist-Bayesianism” (Freq-Bay). After detailing the content of the latter, I propose a rule for assessing the priors. I also argue that Freq-Bay: (i) endorses a role for explanatory value in the assessment (...)
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  34. Valeriano Iranzo (2007). Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation. Theoria 22 (3):339-346.
    Aliseda’s Abductive Reasoning is focused on the logical problem of abduction. My paper, in contrast, deals with the epistemic problems raised by this sort of inference. I analyze the relation between abduction and inference to the best explanation (IBE). Firstly a heuristic and a normative interpretation of IBE are distinguished. The epistemic problem is particularly pressing for the latter interpretation, since it is devoid of content without specific epistemic criteria for separating acceptable explanations from those which are not. Then I (...)
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  35. Nicholaos Jones (forthcoming). Inference to the More Robust Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw009.
    There is a new argument form within theoretical biology. This form takes as input competing explanatory models; it yields as output the conclusion that one of these models is more plausible than the others. The driving force for this argument form is an analysis showing that one model exhibits more parametric robustness than its competitors. This article examines these inferences to the more robust explanation, analysing them as variants of inference to the best explanation. The article defines parametric robustness and (...)
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  36. Matt La Vine (forthcoming). Prior’s Thank-Goodness Argument Reconsidered. Synthese:1-16.
    Arthur Prior’s argument for the A-theory of time in “Thank Goodness That’s Over” is perhaps his most famous and well-known non-logical work. Still, I think that this paper is one of his most misunderstood works. Because of this, much of its brilliance has yet to be properly appreciated. In this paper, I suggest that the explanation of this is that it has been treated as though it were following the standard model for a piece of Analytic philosophy. That is, it (...)
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  37. Kevin McCain (forthcoming). Explanationist Aid for Phenomenal Conservatism. Synthese:1-16.
    Phenomenal conservatism is a popular theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity and the fact that some think that phenomenal conservatism can provide a complete account of justification, it faces several challenges. Among these challenges are the need to provide accounts of defeaters and inferential justification. Fortunately, there is hope for phenomenal conservatism. Explanationism, the view on which justification is a matter of explanatory considerations, can help phenomenal conservatism with both of these challenges. The resulting view is one that respects (...)
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  38. Joke Meheus & Dagmar Provijn (2007). Abduction Through Semantic Tableaux Versus Abduction Through Goal-Directed Proofs. Theoria 22 (3):295-304.
    In this paper, we present a goal-directed proof procedure for abductive reasoning. This procedure will be compared with Aliseda’s approach based on semantic tableaux. We begin with some comments on Aliseda’s algorithms for computing conjunctive abductions and show that they do not entirely live up to their aims. Next we give a concise account of goal-directed proofs and we show that abductive explanations are a natural spin-off of these proofs. Finally, we show that the goal-directed procedure solves the problems we (...)
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  39. Kevin Morris (2011). Theoretical Identities as Explanantia and Explananda. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):373-385.
  40. María G. Navarro (2012). La interpretación como evento cognitivo expresado en razonamientos abductivos. Trans/Form/Ação 35 (3):231-252.
    The purpose of this paper is to argue that abductive reasoning is part of a cognitive process of interpreting something as being something. The paper holds two fundamental claims. First, it proposes a definition of interpretation as a type of cognitive event. Second, it is argued that in some cases the activity of interpreting is a process to search for plausible assumptions for consistent explanatory hypotheses formation. As a result of these two theses, it is concluded that logic of interpretation (...)
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  41. María G. Navarro (2011). Review of 'Reasoning. Studies of Human Inference and Its Foundations' by Jonathan E. Adler and Lance J. Rips. [REVIEW] Anuario Filosófico 44 (3):629-632.
    Reasoning es una obra monumental de más de mil páginas editada en estrecha colaboración por el filósofo Jonathan E. Adler y el psicólogo Lance J. Rips para esclarecer el intrincado campo de investigación relacionado con los fundamentos de la inferencia y, en general, del razonamiento humano. En la actualidad, en pocos casos va unido el trabajo de compilar y editar textos científicos con el afán enciclopédico: un proyecto editorial que sobrepasa con razón los objetivos de la mayor parte de los (...)
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  42. María G. Navarro (2010). El final de una tensión esencial: Hermenéutica filosófica y teorías de la argumentación. Arbor-Ciencia Pensamiento y Cultura 742:321-338.
    Las definiciones de argumentación son tan variadas como las distintas posiciones existentes en torno a la pregunta de qué hacemos exactamente cuando argumentamos y cuándo estamos, de hecho, argumentando. Incluso el mismo autor puede ofrecer más de una definición de lo que entiende por argumentación; en parte, porque el problema de la argumentación no se circunscribe a un solo ámbito, ni del conocimiento ni de la vida práctica.
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  43. María G. Navarro (2006). Analogía, prudencia y abducción en la racionalidad interpretativa. In Mauricio Beuchot (ed.), Contextos de la hermenéutica analógica. Editorial Torres Asociados
  44. María G. Navarro & Noemi de Haro García (2012). Cognitive Abduction in the Study of Visual Culture. Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Western and Eastern Studies 2:205-220.
    In this paper art history and visual studies, the disciplines that study visual culture, are presented as a field whose conjectural paradigm can be used to understand the epistemic problems associated with abduction. In order to do so, significant statements, concepts and arguments from the work of several specialists in this field have been highlighted. Their analysis shows the fruitfulness and potential for understanding the study of visual culture as a field that is interwoven with the assumptions of abductive cognition.
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  45. Andrew Naylor (2015). Inferentially Remembering That P. Logos and Episteme 6 (2):225-230.
    Most of our memories are inferential, so says Sven Bernecker in Memory: A Philosophical Study. I show that his account of inferentially remembering that p is too strong. A revision of the account that avoids the difficulty is proposed. Since inferential memory that p is memory that q (a proposition distinct from p) with an admixture of inference from one’s memory that q and a true thought one has that r, its analysis presupposes an adequate account of the (presumably non-inferential) (...)
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  46. Sami Paavola (2004). Abduction as a Logic and Methodology of Discovery: The Importance of Strategies. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 9 (3):267-283.
    There are various ``classical'' arguments against abduction as a logic of discovery,especially that (1) abduction is too weak a mode of inference to be of any use, and (2) in basic formulation of abduction the hypothesisis already presupposed to be known, so it is not the way hypotheses are discovered in the first place. In this paper I argue, by bringing forth the idea of strategies,that these counter-arguments are weaker than may appear. The concept of strategies suggests, inter alia, that (...)
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  47. Timothy Perrine (2015). Undermining Truthmaker Theory. Synthese 192 (1):185-200.
    Truthmaker theorists hold that there is a metaphysically explanatory relation that holds between true claims and what exists. While some critics try to provide counterexamples to truthmaker theory, that response quickly leads to a dialectical standoff. The aim of this paper is to move beyond that standoff by attempting to undermine some standard arguments for truthmaker theory. Using realism about truth and a more pragmatic account of explanation, I show how some of those arguments can be undermined.
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  48. Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.) (2007). Rethinking Explanation. Springer.
    This book highlights some of the conceptual problems that still need to be solved and points out a number of fresh philosophical ideas to explore.
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  49. Steve Petersen, Simplicity Tracks Truth Because Compression Tracks Probability.
    The simplicity of a theory seems closely related to how well the theory summarizes individual data points. Think, for example, of classic curve-fitting. It is easy to get perfect data-fit with a ‘‘theory’’ that simply lists each point of data, but such a theory is maximally unsimple (for the data-fit). The simple theory suggests instead that there is one underlying curve that summarizes this data, and we usually prefer such a theory even at some expense in data-fit. In general, it (...)
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  50. Steve Petersen, Naturalism is (Literally) Self-Explanatory.
    Methodological naturalism states (roughly speaking) that only science can be a route to knowledge. This purported piece of knowledge looks self-condemning, however; after all, it was formulated in the armchair, and not in the laboratory. I argue that on a popular (if largely unarticulated) construal of naturalism as inference to the best explanation, methodological naturalism escapes this charge of internal incoherence, and in fact is self-endorsing rather than self-condemning.
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