David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 161 (2):271 - 282 (2008)
Nancy Cartwright relies upon an inference pattern known as inference to the best causal explanation (IBCE) to support a limited form of entity realism, according to which we are warranted in believing in entities that purportively cause observable effects. IBCE, as usually understood, is valid, even though all other forms of inference to the best explanation (IBE) are usually understood to be invalid. We argue that IBCE and IBE are in the same boat with respect to their ability to support realist conclusions. Either rule can be interpreted as valid, this is a matter of semantic convention. However, doing so deprives the rule of the empirical content the realist needs, requiring the realist to find independent warrant for a strong (theoretical or causal) premise. We then examine the proposed means of obtaining this warrant, and find them as inadequate in the case of IBCE as they are in the case of IBE.
|Keywords||Realism Inference to the best explanation Inference to the best casual explanation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Ian Hacking (1983). Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science. Cambridge University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1989). Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement. Oxford University Press.
Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (1954). The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Larry Laudan (1981). A Confutation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
Citations of this work BETA
Matthias Egg (2012). Causal Warrant for Realism About Particle Physics. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):259-280.
Similar books and articles
Adolfas Mackonis (2013). Inference to the Best Explanation, Coherence and Other Explanatory Virtues. Synthese 190 (6):975-995.
Daniel G. Campos (2011). On the Distinction Between Peirce's Abduction and Lipton's Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 180 (3):419 - 442.
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1992). Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
Mauricio Suarez, Experimental Realism Defended: How Inference to the Most Likely Cause Might Be Sound.
Mauricio Suárez, Experimental Realism Defended : How Inference to the Most Likely Cause Might Be Sound.
Timothy Day & Harold Kincaid (1994). Putting Inference to the Best Explanation in its Place. Synthese 98 (2):271-295.
Richard Reiner & Robert Pierson (1995). Hacking's Experimental Realism: An Untenable Middle Ground. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):60-69.
Jacob Busch (2011). Scientific Realism and the Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism: A Marriage Made in Hell. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):307-325.
Mohamed Elsamahi (1994). Could Theoretical Entities Save Realism? In David & Richard Hull & Burian (ed.), PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. 173 - 180.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads154 ( #10,833 of 1,724,878 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #134,547 of 1,724,878 )
How can I increase my downloads?