David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):19-49 (2009)
Going back at least to Duhem, there is a tradition of thinking that crucial experiments are impossible in science. I analyse Duhem's arguments and show that they are based on the excessively strong assumption that only deductive reasoning is permissible in experimental science. This opens the possibility that some principle of inductive inference could provide a sufficient reason for preferring one among a group of hypotheses on the basis of an appropriately controlled experiment. To be sure, there are analogues to Duhem's problems that pertain to inductive inference. Using a famous experiment from the history of molecular biology as an example, I show that an experimentalist version of inference to the best explanation (IBE) does a better job in handling these problems than other accounts of scientific inference. Furthermore, I introduce a concept of experimental mechanism and show that it can guide inferences from data within an IBE-based framework for induction. Introduction Duhem on the Logic of Crucial Experiments ‘The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology’ Why Not Simple Elimination? Severe Testing An Experimentalist Version of IBE 6.1 Physiological and experimental mechanisms 6.2 Explaining the data 6.3 IBE and the problem of untested auxiliaries 6.4 IBE-turtles all the way down Van Fraassen's ‘Bad Lot’ Argument IBE and Bayesianism Conclusions CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver (2000). Thinking About Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
James Bogen & James Woodward (1988). Saving the Phenomena. Philosophical Review 97 (3):303-352.
S. Okasha (2000). Van Fraassen's Critique of Inference to the Best Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (4):691-710.
Jon Dorling (1979). Bayesian Personalism, the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes, and Duhem's Problem. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (3):177-187.
John D. Norton (1993). The Determination of Theory by Evidence: The Case for Quantum Discontinuity, 1900–1915. Synthese 97 (1):1 - 31.
Citations of this work BETA
Kärin Nickelsen & Gerd Graßhoff (2011). In Pursuit of Formaldehyde: Causally Explanatory Models and Falsification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (3):297-305.
Gregor Betz (2013). Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures. Synthese 190 (16):3553-3578.
Tudor M. Baetu (2014). Models and the Mosaic of Scientific Knowledge. The Case of Immunology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):49-56.
Peter W. Ross & Dale Turner (2013). Existence Problems in Philosophy and Science. Synthese 190 (18):4239-4259.
Similar books and articles
David H. Glass (2007). Coherence Measures and Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 157 (3):275 - 296.
Valeriano Iranzo (2007). Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation. Theoria 22 (3):339-346.
Gregory W. Dawes (2013). Belief is Not the Issue: A Defence of Inference to the Best Explanation. Ratio 26 (1):62-78.
Daniel G. Campos (2011). On the Distinction Between Peirce's Abduction and Lipton's Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 180 (3):419 - 442.
Gerhard Minnameier (2004). Peirce-Suit of Truth – Why Inference to the Best Explanation and Abduction Ought Not to Be Confused. Erkenntnis 60 (1):75-105.
Steven Rappaport (1996). Inference to the Best Explanation: Is It Really Different From Mill's Methods? Philosophy of Science 63 (1):65-80.
Peter Lipton (2004). Inference to the Best Explanation. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Timothy Day & Harold Kincaid (1994). Putting Inference to the Best Explanation in its Place. Synthese 98 (2):271-295.
Jonathan Weisberg (2009). Locating IBE in the Bayesian Framework. Synthese 167 (1):125 - 143.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads92 ( #35,691 of 1,726,991 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #66,638 of 1,726,991 )
How can I increase my downloads?