David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 167 (1):125 - 143 (2009)
Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) and Bayesianism are our two most prominent theories of scientific inference. Are they compatible? Van Fraassen famously argued that they are not, concluding that IBE must be wrong since Bayesianism is right. Writers since then, from both the Bayesian and explanationist camps, have usually considered van Fraassen's argument to be misguided, and have plumped for the view that Bayesianism and IBE are actually compatible. I argue that van Fraassen's argument is actually not so misguided, and that it causes more trouble for compatibilists than is typically thought. Bayesianism in its dominant, subjectivist form, can only be made compatible with IBE if IBE is made subservient to conditionalization in a way that robs IBE of much of its substance and interest. If Bayesianism and IBE are to be fit together, I argue, a strongly objective Bayesianism is the preferred option. I go on to sketch this objectivist, IBE-based Bayesianism, and offer some preliminary suggestions for its development.
|Keywords||Inference to the best explanation Bayesianism Abduction Induction|
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Lipton (2004). Inference to the Best Explanation. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
Rudolf Carnap (1962). Logical Foundations of Probability. Chicago]University of Chicago Press.
Isaac Levi (1980). The Enterprise of Knowledge: An Essay on Knowledge, Credal Probability, and Chance. The MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Ruth Weintraub (2013). Induction and Inference to the Best Explanation. Philosophical Studies 166 (1):203-216.
David H. Glass (2012). Inference to the Best Explanation: Does It Track Truth? Synthese 185 (3):411-427.
Peter Brössel (forthcoming). On the Role of Explanatory and Systematic Power in Scientific Reasoning. Synthese:1-37.
Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (2014). Why Explanatoriness Is Evidentially Relevant. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):145-153.
Niki Pfeifer & Igor Douven (2013). Formal Epistemology and the New Paradigm Psychology of Reasoning. Review of Philosophy and Psychology (2):1-23.
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