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  1. Peter Achinstein (1992). Inference to the Best Explanation: Or, Who Won the Mill-Whewell Debate?: Peter Lipton (London: Routledge, 1991), X+ 194 Pp. ISBN 0-415-05886-4 Cloth£ 35.00. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (2):349-364.
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  2. Amalia Amaya (2008). Inference to the Best Legal Explanation. In Hendrik Kaptein (ed.), Legal Evidence and Proof: Statistics, Stories, Logic. Ashgate
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  3. Margaret S. Archer, Morphogenesis : Realism's Explanatory Framework.
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  4. Keith Augustine & Yonatan I. Fishman (2015). The Dualist’s Dilemma: The High Cost of Reconciling Neuroscience with a Soul. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield 203-292.
    Tight correlations between mental states and brain states have been observed time and again within the ethology of biologically ingrained animal behaviors, the comparative psychology of animal minds, the evolutionary psychology of mental adaptations, the behavioral genetics of inherited mental traits, the developmental psychology of the maturing mind, the psychopharmacology of mind-altering substances, and cognitive neuroscience more generally. They imply that our mental lives are only made possible because of brain activity—that having a functioning brain is a necessary condition for (...)
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  5. Storm Mcclintock Bailey (1997). Inference to the Best Explanation and Justification in Ethics. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
    This essay addresses the role which pre-theoretical moral judgments about particular cases play in arguing for fundamental moral principles. I argue that inference to the best explanation of the objects of pre-theoretical moral beliefs is a valid, albeit limited, method of justification in ethics. In contrast to some contemporary accounts of explanation in moral theory, I present moral explanation as an analogue, not an instance, of scientific explanation. Having made this distinction, I specify how this form of moral reasoning--which I (...)
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  6. Eric Barnes (1995). Inference to the Loveliest Explanation. Synthese 103 (2):251 - 277.
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  7. Alexander Bird (2007). Inference to the Only Explanation. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):424–432.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming).
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  8. G. Bowles (1995). Peter Lipton, Inference to the Best Explanation. Argumentation 9:863-867.
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  9. Lefteris Farmakis & Stephan Hartmann (forthcoming). Book Review: Inference to the Best Explanation by P. Lipton. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  10. Paschal O' Gorman (1993). Peter Lipton "Inference to the Best Explanation". International Journal of Philosophical Studies:377.
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  11. D. Harker (2011). A Likely Explanation: IBE as a Guide to Better Hypotheses. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (1).
    Several friends of inference to best explanation have claimed in recent work that explanatory virtues, such as consilience, simplicity and increased precision, play an important heuristic role in assigning probabilities to available hypotheses and that it is this role that justifies continued efforts to investigate the scope, nature and epistemic value of the inference rule. In this paper I argue that understanding explanatory virtues as a guide to probability assignments creates a critical dilemma for advocates of IBE that has not (...)
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  12. Harmon R. Holcomb (1996). Just so Stories and Inference to the Best Explanation in Evolutionary Psychology. Minds and Machines 6 (4):525-540.
    Evolutionary psychology is a science in the making, working toward the goal of showing how psychological adaptation underlies much human behavior. The knee-jerk reaction that sociobiology is unscientific because it tells just-so stories has become a common charge against evolutionary psychology as well. My main positive thesis is that inference to the best explanation is a proper method for evolutionary analyses, and it supplies a new perspective on the issues raised in Schlinger's (1996) just-so story critique. My main negative thesis (...)
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  13. Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.) (2016). Models and Inferences in Science. Springer.
    The book answers long-standing questions on scientific modeling and inference across multiple perspectives and disciplines, including logic, mathematics, physics and medicine. The different chapters cover a variety of issues, such as the role models play in scientific practice; the way science shapes our concept of models; ways of modeling the pursuit of scientific knowledge; the relationship between our concept of models and our concept of science. The book also discusses models and scientific explanations; models in the semantic view of theories; (...)
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  14. Valeriano Iranzo (2001). Bad Lots, Good Explanations. Critica 33 (98):71-96.
    Van Fraassen's argument from the "bad lot" challenges realist interpretations of inference to the best explanation. In this paper I begin by discussing the replies suggested by S. Psillos and P. Lipton. I do not find them convincing. However, I think that van Fraassen's argument is flawed. First of all, it is a non sequitur. Secondly, I think that the real target for the scientific realist is the underlying assumption that epistemic justification results from a comparative assessment among rival explanations. (...)
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  15. Scott A. Kleiner (1983). A New Look at Kepler and Abductive Argument. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 14 (4):279-313.
  16. D. Kolak & J. Symons (eds.) (2004). Quantifiers, Questions and Quantum Physics. Springer.
    This volume gathers together essays from some of Hintikka’s colleagues and former students exploring his influence on their work and pursuing some of the insights that we have found in his work. This book includes a comprehensive overview of Hintikka’s philosophy by Dan Kolak and John Symons and an annotated bibliography of Hintikka’s work. Table of Contents: Foreword; Daniel Kolak and John Symons. Hintikka on Epistemological Axiomatizations; Vincent F. Hendricks. Hintikka on the Problem with the Problem of Transworld Identity; Troy (...)
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  17. John-Michael Kuczynski (1999). Is Mind an Emergent Property? Cogito 13 (2):117-119.
    It is often said that (M) "mind is an emergent property of matter." M is ambiguous, the reason being that, for all x and y, "x is an emergent property of y" has two distinct and mutually opposed meanings, namely: (i) x is a product of y (in the sense in which a chair is the product of the activity of a furniture-maker); and (ii) y is either identical or constitutive of x, but, relative to the information available at a (...)
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  18. James Ladyman, Igor Douven, Leon Horsten & Bas van Fraassen (1997). A Defence of Van Fraassen's Critique of Abductive Inference: Reply to Psillos. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):305 - 321.
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  19. Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton (2009). Enthymemes, Argumentation Schemes, and Topics. Logique Et Analyse 205:39-56.
  20. Adolfas Mackonis (2013). Inference to the Best Explanation, Coherence and Other Explanatory Virtues. Synthese 190 (6):975-995.
    This article generalizes the explanationist account of inference to the best explanation. It draws a clear distinction between IBE and abduction and presents abduction as the first step of IBE. The second step amounts to the evaluation of explanatory power, which consist in the degree of explanatory virtues that a hypothesis exhibits. Moreover, even though coherence is the most often cited explanatory virtue, on pain of circularity, it should not be treated as one of the explanatory virtues. Rather, coherence should (...)
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  21. Adolfas Mackonis (2011). Psychological Adequacy and Ontological Commitments of Inference to the Best Explanation. Problemos 79:41-54.
    The article explicates psychological and ontological aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation . IBE is a psychological theory, because cognitive science studies support IBE as descriptively true and psychologically adequate theory, i.e., people perceive best explanations as true and follow the rule of IBE in their reasoning. Moreover, different features of IBE imply that conclusions of IBE can be true only in a world with a very particular ontological constitution. Realism about the external world, the uniformity of nature, the (...)
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  22. A. Manion (1999). George Couvalis, Philosophy of Science: Science and Objectivity. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (2):234.
  23. JohanArnt Myrstad (2004). The Use of Converse Abduction in Kepler. Foundations of Science 9 (3):321-338.
    This paper explains how Kepler in his ``War onMars'' applied systems of models organized bothin a perspectival and in a stratifiedconceptual sense. With the help of thesesystems Kepler worked out successively moredeterminate models for the planetary orbits.Along the way he discovered the Keplerian lawsas consequences of the distance rule, hisleading regulative principle. The selection ofdecisive, so called privileged, observations,as well as the determinate geometrical andkinematical description of the phenomena,result from the application of this principleto the developing of models. Kepler's method (...)
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  24. María G. Navarro (2010). Intelligent Environments and the Challenge of Inferential Processes. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 72 (2):309-326.
  25. Ilkka Niiniluoto (2008). Unification and Abductive Confirmation. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 43:151-156.
    According to the traditional requirement, formulated already by William Whewell in his account of the “consilience of inductions” in 1840, an explanatory scientific theory should be independently testable by new kinds of phenomena. A good theory should have unifying power in the sense that it explains and predicts several mutually independent phenomena. This paper studies the prospects of Bayesianism to motivate this kind of unification criterion for abductive confirmation.
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  26. Woosuk Park (2012). Abduction and Estimation in Animals. Foundations of Science 17 (4):321-337.
    One of the most pressing issues in understanding abduction is whether it is an instinct or an inference. For many commentators find it paradoxical that new ideas are products of an instinct and products of an inference at the same time. Fortunately, Lorenzo Magnani’s recent discussion of animal abduction sheds light on both instinctual and inferential character of Peircean abduction. But, exactly for what reasons are Peirce and Magnani so convinced that animal abduction can provide us with a novel perspective? (...)
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  27. Herman Parret (ed.) (1994). . John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  28. Alejandro Ramírez Figueroa (2009). Atocha Aliseda, Abductive Reasoning. Logical Investigations Into Discovery and Explanation. Revista de filosofía (Chile) 65:223-226.
    Abductive Reasoning: Logical Investigations into Discovery and Explanation is a much awaited original contribution to the study of abductive reasoning, providing logical foundations and a rich sample of pertinent applications. Divided into three parts on the conceptual framework, the logical foundations, and the applications, this monograph takes the reader for a comprehensive and erudite tour through the taxonomy of abductive reasoning, via the logical workings of abductive inference ending with applications pertinent to scientific explanation, empirical progress, pragmatism and belief revision.
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  29. Samuel Gahan Ruhmkorff (2001). The Reliability of Inference to the Best Explanation. Dissertation, University of Michigan
    I analyze inference to the best explanation , and defend it against three problems. First, it seems we have no reason to think that the explanatory virtues exemplified by a theory count as evidence that the theory is true. Second, for all we know, the explanations we consider do not include the true explanation, and so our inference to the best of these explanations is doomed to failure. This is the problem of the bad lot recently defended by Bas van (...)
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  30. P. Thagard & C. P. Shelley (1997). Abductive Reasoning: Logic, Visual Thinking, and Coherence. In [Book Chapter].
    This paper discusses abductive reasoning---that is, reasoning in which explanatory hypotheses are formed and evaluated. First, it criticizes two recent formal logical models of abduction. An adequate formalization would have to take into account the following aspects of abduction: explanation is not deduction; hypotheses are layered; abduction is sometimes creative; hypotheses may be revolutionary; completeness is elusive; simplicity is complex; and abductive reasoning may be visual and non-sentential. Second, in order to illustrate visual aspects of hypothesis formation, the paper describes (...)
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  31. James Van Evra (1992). Peter Lipton, Inference to the Best Explanation Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 12 (3):207-208.
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  32. James Van Evra (1992). Peter Lipton, Inference to the Best Explanation. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 12:207-208.
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  33. Jonathan Vogel (1998). Cartesian Skepticism and the Inference to the Best Explanation. In Alcoff Linda (ed.), Epistemology: The Big Questions. Blackwell 352--9.
  34. Andrew Dan Wible (2000). No Experience Necessary: An a Priori Defense of Inference to the Best Explanation and Moral Realism. Dissertation, Wayne State University
    One of the most persuasive arguments against moral realism is the argument from disagreement. It argues that the best explanation for the vast amount of disagreement in ethics is that there are no moral facts. For this argument to work two points must be established. First, inference to the best explanation must be a justified rule of inference, and second, the "no moral facts thesis" must be shown to be the best explanation of moral disagreement. I provide justification for the (...)
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Inference to the Best Explanation, Misc
  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 (forthcoming). Abduction by Philosophers: Reorienting Philosophical Methodology. Metaphilosophy.
    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 which gives a near exclusive focus to 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 (...)
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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, Why Observations of Ultrashort-Lived Unstable Particles Cannot Be Claimed.
    The physics literature contains many claims that ultrashort-lived unstable particles have been observed: the use of the word 'observation' is then based on a convention. This paper, however, contends against these observational claims by arguing that existential knowledge of ultrashort-lived unstable particles is beyond the epistemic limit of the scientific method: the argument leans in essence on the truth condition of knowledge. Given that an observational claim implies a claim of existential knowledge, it then follows by modus tollens that the (...)
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  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. 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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  16. 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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