Search results for 'inference to the best explanation' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Adolfas Mackonis (2013). Inference to the Best Explanation, Coherence and Other Explanatory Virtues. Synthese 190 (6):975-995.score: 2340.0
    This article generalizes the explanationist account of inference to the best explanation (IBE). 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 (...)
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  2. David H. Glass (2007). Coherence Measures and Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 157 (3):275 - 296.score: 2340.0
    This paper considers an application of work on probabilistic measures of coherence to inference to the best explanation (IBE). Rather than considering information reported from different sources, as is usually the case when discussing coherence measures, the approach adopted here is to use a coherence measure to rank competing explanations in terms of their coherence with a piece of evidence. By adopting such an approach IBE can be made more precise and so a major objection to this (...)
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  3. Gregor Betz (2013). Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures. Synthese 190 (16):3553-3578.score: 2340.0
    This article discusses how inference to the best explanation (IBE) 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. My analysis (...)
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  4. David Godden (2014). Modeling Corroborative Evidence: Inference to the Best Explanation as Counter–Rebuttal. Argumentation 28 (2):187-220.score: 2340.0
    Corroborative evidence has a dual function in argument. Primarily, it functions to provide direct evidence supporting the main conclusion. But it also has a secondary, bolstering function which increases the probative value of some other piece of evidence in the argument. This paper argues that the bolstering effect of corroborative evidence is legitimate, and can be explained as counter–rebuttal achieved through inference to the best explanation. A model (argument diagram) of corroborative evidence, representing its structure and operation (...)
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  5. Ruth Weintraub (2013). Induction and Inference to the Best Explanation. Philosophical Studies 166 (1):203-216.score: 2085.0
    In this paper I adduce a new argument in support of the claim that IBE is an autonomous (indispensable) form of inference, based on a familiar, yet surprisingly, under-discussed, problem for Hume’s theory of induction. I then use some insights thereby gleaned to argue for the (reductionist) claim that induction is really IBE, and draw some normative conclusions.
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  6. Peter Lipton (2004). Inference to the Best Explanation. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.score: 1680.0
    How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? The model of "inference to the best explanation" (IBE) -- that we infer the hypothesis that would, if correct, provide the best explanation of the available evidence--offers a compelling account of inferences both in science and in ordinary life. Widely cited by epistemologists and philosophers of science, IBE has nonetheless remained little more than a slogan. Now this influential work has been thoroughly revised (...)
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  7. Greg Frost-Arnold (2010). The No-Miracles Argument for Realism: Inference to an Unacceptable Explanation. Philosophy of Science 77 (1):35-58.score: 1612.0
    I argue that a certain type of naturalist should not accept a prominent version of the no-miracles argument (NMA). First, scientists (usually) do not accept explanations whose explanans-statements neither generate novel predictions nor unify apparently disparate established claims. Second, scientific realism (as it appears in the NMA) is an explanans that makes no new predictions and fails to unify disparate established claims. Third, many proponents of the NMA explicitly adopt a naturalism that forbids philosophy of science from using any methods (...)
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  8. Harmon R. Holcomb (1996). Just so Stories and Inference to the Best Explanation in Evolutionary Psychology. Minds and Machines 6 (4):525-540.score: 1590.0
    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 (...)
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  9. David H. Glass (2012). Inference to the Best Explanation: Does It Track Truth? Synthese 185 (3):411-427.score: 1590.0
    In the form of inference known as inference to the best explanation there are various ways to characterise what is meant by the best explanation. This paper considers a number of such characterisations including several based on confirmation measures and several based on coherence measures. The goal is to find a measure which adequately captures what is meant by 'best' and which also yields the truth with a high degree of probability. Computer simulations (...)
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  10. Joel Katzav (2013). Hybrid Models, Climate Models, and Inference to the Best Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):107-129.score: 1575.0
    I examine the warrants we have in light of the empirical successes of a kind of model I call ‘hybrid models’, a kind that includes climate models among its members. I argue that these warrants’ strengths depend on inferential virtues that are not just explanatory virtues, contrary to what would be the case if inference to the best explanation (IBE) provided the warrants. I also argue that the warrants in question, unlike those IBE provides, guide inferences only (...)
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  11. Marcel Weber (2009). The Crux of Crucial Experiments: Duhem's Problems and Inference to the Best Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):19-49.score: 1575.0
    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 (...)
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  12. Leah Henderson (forthcoming). Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt020.score: 1575.0
    Two of the most influential theories about scientific inference are inference to the best explanation (IBE) and Bayesianism. How are they related? Bas van Fraassen has claimed that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible rival theories, as any probabilistic version of IBE would violate Bayesian conditionalization. In response, several authors have defended the view that IBE is compatible with Bayesian updating. They claim that the explanatory considerations in IBE are taken into account by the Bayesian because the (...)
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  13. Yemima Ben-Menahem (1990). The Inference to the Best Explanation. Erkenntnis 33 (3):319-44.score: 1560.0
    In a situation in which several explanations compete, is the one that is better qua explanation also the one we should regard as the more likely to be true? Realists usually answer in the affirmative. They then go on to argue that since realism provides the best explanation for the success of science, realism can be inferred to. Nonrealists, on the other hand, answer the above question in the negative, thereby renouncing the inference to realism. In (...)
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  14. Gregory W. Dawes (2013). Belief is Not the Issue: A Defence of Inference to the Best Explanation. Ratio 26 (1):62-78.score: 1560.0
    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. (...)
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  15. Daniel G. Campos (2011). On the Distinction Between Peirce's Abduction and Lipton's Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 180 (3):419 - 442.score: 1560.0
    I argue against the tendency in the philosophy of science literature to link abduction to the inference to the best explanation (IBE), and in particular, to claim that Peireean abduction is a conceptual predecessor to IBE. This is not to discount either abduction or IBE. Rather the purpose of this paper is to clarify the relation between Peireean abduction and IBE in accounting for ampliative inference in science. This paper aims at a proper classification—not justification—of types (...)
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  16. Timothy Day & Harold Kincaid (1994). Putting Inference to the Best Explanation in its Place. Synthese 98 (2):271-295.score: 1560.0
    This paper discusses the nature and the status of inference to the best explanation (IBE). We (1) outline the foundational role given IBE by its defenders and the arguments of critics who deny it any place at all; (2) argue that, on the two main conceptions of explanation, IBE cannot be a foundational inference rule; (3) sketch an account of IBE that makes it contextual and dependent on substantive empirical assumptions, much as simplicity seems to (...)
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  17. Igor Douven (2002). Testing Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 130 (3):355 - 377.score: 1560.0
    Inference to the Best Explanation has become the subject of a livelydebate in the philosophy of science. Scientific realists maintain, while scientificantirealists deny, that it is a compelling rule of inference. It seems that anyattempt to settle this debate empirically must beg the question against theantirealist. The present paper argues that this impression is misleading. A methodis described that, by combining Glymour''s theory of bootstrapping and Hacking''sarguments from microscopy, allows us to test IBE without begging any (...)
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  18. Axel Gelfert (2010). Reconsidering the Role of Inference to the Best Explanation in the Epistemology of Testimony. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):386-396.score: 1560.0
    In his work on the epistemology of testimony, Peter Lipton developed an account of testimonial inference that aimed at descriptive adequacy as well as justificatory sophistication. According to „testimonial inference to the best explanation‟ (TIBE), we accept what a speaker tells us because the truth of her claim figures in the best explanation of the fact that she made it. In the present paper, I argue for a modification of this picture. In particular, I (...)
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  19. Igor Douven (1999). Inference to the Best Explanation Made Coherent. Philosophy of Science 66 (Supplement):S424-S435.score: 1560.0
    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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  20. Stathos Psillos, Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism(.score: 1560.0
    Niiniluoto (2003) has offered an incisive and comprehensive review of the recent debates about abduction. There is little on which I disagree with him. So, in this commentary, I shall try to cast some doubts to the attempts to render Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) within a Bayesian framework.
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  21. John Bigelow (2010). Quine, Mereology, and Inference to the Best Explanation. Logique Et Analyse 53 (212):465.score: 1560.0
    Given Quine's views on philosophical methodology, he should not have taken the axioms of classical mereology to be "self-evident", or "analytic"; but rather, he should have set out to justify them by what might be broadly called an "inference to the best explanation". He does very little to this end. In particular, he does little to examine alternative theories, to see if there might be anything they could explain better than classical mereology can. I argue that there (...)
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  22. Jochen Briesen (2008). Skepticism, Externalism, and Inference to the Best Explanation. Abstracta 4 (1):5-26.score: 1560.0
    This paper focuses on a combination of the antiskeptical strategies offered by semantic externalism and the inference to the best explanation. I argue that the most difficult problems of the two strategies can be solved, if the strategies are combined: The strategy offered by semantic externalism is successful against standard skeptical brain-in-a-vat arguments. But the strategy is ineffective, if the skeptical argument is referring to the recent-envatment scenario. However, by focusing on the scenario of recent envatment the (...)
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  23. Peter Lipton (2007). Alien Abduction: Inference to the Best Explanation and the Management of Testimony. Episteme 4 (3):238-251.score: 1560.0
    This paper considers how we decide whether to believe what we are told. Inference to the Best Explanation, a popular general account of non-demonstrative reasoning, is applied to this task. The core idea of this application is that we believe what we are told when the truth of what we are told would figure in the best explanation of the fact that we were told it. We believe the fact uttered when it is part of (...)
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  24. 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.score: 1560.0
    It is well known that the process of scientific inquiry, according to Peirce, is drivenby three types of inference, namely abduction, deduction, and induction. What isbehind these labels is, however, not so clear. In particular, the common identificationof abduction with Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) begs the question,since IBE appears to be covered by Peirce's concept of induction, not that of abduction.Consequently, abduction ought to be distinguished from IBE, at least on Peirce's account. The main (...)
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  25. James H. Fetzer (2002). Propensities and Frequencies: Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 132 (1-2):27 - 61.score: 1560.0
    An approach to inference to the best explanation integrating a Popperianconception of natural laws together with a modified Hempelian account of explanation, one the one hand, and Hacking's law of likelihood (in its nomicguise), on the other, which provides a robust abductivist model of sciencethat appears to overcome the obstacles that confront its inductivist,deductivist, and hypothetico-deductivist alternatives.This philosophy of scienceclarifies and illuminates some fundamental aspects of ontology and epistemology, especially concerning the relations between frequencies and propensities. (...)
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  26. David Chart, Inference to the Best Explanation, Bayesianism, and Feminist Bank Tellers.score: 1560.0
    Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism have both been proposed as descriptions of the way that people make inferences. This paper argues that one result from cognitive psychology, the "feminist bank teller" experiment, suggests that people use Inference to the Best Explanation rather than Bayesian techniques.
     
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  27. Steven Rappaport (1996). Inference to the Best Explanation: Is It Really Different From Mill's Methods? Philosophy of Science 63 (1):65-80.score: 1560.0
    Peter Lipton has attempted to flesh out a model of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) by clarifying explanation in terms of a causal model. But Lipton's account of explanation makes an adequate explanation depend on a principle which is virtually identical to Mill's Method of Difference. This has the result of collapsing IBE on Lipton's account of it into causal inference as conceived by the Causal-Inference model of induction. According to this (...)
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  28. Brian Haig & Russil Durrant (2002). Adaptationism and Inference to the Best Explanation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):520-521.score: 1560.0
    Andrews et al. effectively argue that, despite prominent criticism, adaptationism can be a viable research strategy. We agree. In our complementary commentary, we discuss the neglected method of inference to the best explanation and argue that it is a valuable addition to the adaptationist's methodological practice.
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  29. Valeriano Iranzo (2007). Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation. Theoria 22 (3):339-346.score: 1560.0
    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 (...)
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  30. Igor Douven (2013). Inference to the Best Explanation, Dutch Books, and Inaccuracy Minimisation. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252):428-444.score: 1560.0
    Bayesians have traditionally taken a dim view of the Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), arguing that, if IBE is at variance with Bayes' rule, then it runs afoul of the dynamic Dutch book argument. More recently, Bayes' rule has been claimed to be superior on grounds of conduciveness to our epistemic goal. The present paper aims to show that neither of these arguments succeeds in undermining IBE.
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  31. W. Roche & E. Sober (2013). Explanatoriness is Evidentially Irrelevant, or Inference to the Best Explanation Meets Bayesian Confirmation Theory. Analysis 73 (4):659-668.score: 1560.0
    In the world of philosophy of science, the dominant theory of confirmation is Bayesian. In the wider philosophical world, the idea of inference to the best explanation exerts a considerable influence. Here we place the two worlds in collision, using Bayesian confirmation theory to argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant.
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  32. Valeriano Iranzo (2008). Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation. Theoria 23 (1):89-106.score: 1560.0
    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 (...)
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  33. Harmon R. Holcomb Iii (1996). Just so Stories and Inference to the Best Explanation in Evolutionary Psychology. Minds and Machines 6 (4):525-540.score: 1560.0
    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 (...)
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  34. Clark Glymour (2012). On the Possibility of Inference to the Best Explanation. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):461-469.score: 1442.0
    Various proposals have suggested that an adequate explanatory theory should reduce the number or the cardinality of the set of logically independent claims that need be accepted in order to entail a body of data. A (and perhaps the only) well-formed proposal of this kind is William Kneale’s: an explanatory theory should be finitely axiomatizable but it’s set of logical consequences in the data language should not be finitely axiomatizable. Craig and Vaught showed that Kneale theories (almost) always exist for (...)
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  35. Matthew B. Gifford (2013). Skepticism and Elegance: Problems for the Abductivist Reply to Cartesian Skepticism. Philosophical Studies 164 (3):685-704.score: 1350.0
    Some philosophers argue that we are justified in rejecting skepticism because it is explanatorily inferior to more commonsense hypotheses about the world. Focusing on the work of Jonathan Vogel, I show that this “abductivist” or “inference to the best explanation” response rests on an impoverished explanatory framework which ignores the explanatory gap between an object's having certain properties and its appearing to have those properties. Once this gap is appreciated, I argue, the abductivist strategy is defeated.
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  36. Andrea Sereni (forthcoming). Equivalent Explanations and Mathematical Realism. Reply to “Evidence, Explanation, and Enhanced Indispensability”. Synthese:1-12.score: 1350.0
    The author of “Evidence, Explanation, Enhanced Indispensability” advances a criticism to the Enhanced Indispensability Argument and the use of Inference to the Best Explanation in order to draw ontological conclusions from mathematical explanations in science. His argument relies on the availability of equivalent though competing explanations, and a pluralist stance on explanation. I discuss whether pluralism emerges as a stable position, and focus here on two main points: whether cases of equivalent explanations have been actually (...)
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  37. Sorin Ioan Bangu (2008). Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism. Synthese 160 (1):13-20.score: 1335.0
    Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.
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  38. Stathis Psillos (2007). The Fine Structure of Inference to the Best Explanation. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):441–448.score: 1305.0
    Traditionally, philosophers have focused mostly on the logical template of inference. The paradigm-case has been deductive inference, which is topic-neutral and context-insensitive. The study of deductive rules has engendered the search for the Holy Grail: syntactic and topic-neutral accounts of all prima facie reasonable inferential rules. The search has hoped to find rules that are transparent and algorithmic, and whose following will just be a matter of grasping their logical form. Part of the search for the Holy Grail (...)
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  39. Bangu Sorin (2008). Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism. Synthese 160 (1):13-20.score: 1305.0
    Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.
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  40. Wang-Yen Lee (forthcoming). Should the No-Miracle Argument Add to Scientific Evidence? Philosophia:1-6.score: 1258.0
    Lipton contends that the no-miracle argument is illegitimate, because it fails to adduce new evidence beyond that cited by scientists for their theories. The debate on this issue between Lipton and Psillos has focussed on whether there is a construal of the no-miracle argument in relation to first-order scientific inferences that can yield new evidence. I move away from this focus without taking sides, and argue that the no-miracle argument, on its two popular interpretations, is as legitimate, cogent, and useful (...)
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  41. Jonathan Weisberg (2009). Locating IBE in the Bayesian Framework. Synthese 167 (1):125 - 143.score: 1215.0
    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 (...)
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  42. Moti Mizrahi (2012). Why the Ultimate Argument for Scientific Realism Ultimately Fails. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):132-138.score: 1215.0
    In this paper, I argue that the ultimate argument for Scientific Realism, also known as the No-Miracles Argument (NMA), ultimately fails as an abductive defence of Epistemic Scientific Realism (ESR), where (ESR) is the thesis that successful theories of mature sciences are approximately true. The NMA is supposed to be an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) that purports to explain the success of science. However, the explanation offered as the best explanation for success, (...)
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  43. Mark Day & George S. Botterill (2008). Contrast, Inference and Scientific Realism. Synthese 160 (2):249 - 267.score: 1215.0
    The thesis of underdetermination presents a major obstacle to the epistemological claims of scientific realism. That thesis is regularly assumed in the philosophy of science, but is puzzlingly at odds with the actual history of science, in which empirically adequate theories are thin on the ground. We propose to advance a case for scientific realism which concentrates on the process of scientific reasoning rather than its theoretical products. Developing an account of causal–explanatory inference will make it easier to resist (...)
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  44. Mark Newman (2010). The No-Miracles Argument, Reliabilism, and a Methodological Version of the Generality Problem. Synthese 177 (1):111 - 138.score: 1215.0
    The No-Miracles Argument (NMA) is often used to support scientific realism. We can formulate this argument as an inference to the best explanation this accusation of circularity by appealing to reliabilism, an externalist epistemology. In this paper I argue that this retreat fails. Reliabilism suffers from a potentially devastating difficulty known as the Generality Problem and attempts to solve this problem require adopting both epistemic and metaphysical assumptions regarding local scientific theories. Although the externalist can happily adopt (...)
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  45. Jacob Busch (2011). Is the Indispensability Argument Dispensable? Theoria 77 (2):139-158.score: 1215.0
    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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  46. Gerald Doppelt (2013). Explaining the Success of Science: Kuhn and Scientific Realists. Topoi 32 (1):43-51.score: 1215.0
    In this essay, I critically evaluate the approaches to explaining the success of science in Kuhn and the works of inference-to-the-best-explanation scientific realists. Kuhn’s challenge to realists, who invoke the truth of theories to explain their success, is two-fold. His paradigm-account of success confronts realists with the problem of theory change, and the historical fact of successful theories later rejected as false. Secondly, Kuhn’s account of the success of science has no need to bring truth into the (...)
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  47. Jonah N. Schupbach (2013). Is the Bad Lot Objection Just Misguided? Erkenntnis (1):1-10.score: 1215.0
    In this paper, I argue that van Fraassen’s “bad lot objection” against Inference to the Best Explanation [IBE] severely misses its mark. First, I show that the objection holds no special relevance to IBE; if the bad lot objection poses a serious problem for IBE, then it poses a serious problem for any inference form whatever. Second, I argue that, thankfully, it does not pose a serious threat to any inference form. Rather, the objection misguidedly (...)
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  48. Gerald Doppelt (2014). Best Theory Scientific Realism. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):271-291.score: 1215.0
    The aim of this essay is to argue for a new version of ‘inference-to-the-best-explanation’ scientific realism, which I characterize as Best Theory Realism or ‘BTR’. On BTR, the realist needs only to embrace a commitment to the truth or approximate truth of the best theories in a field, those which are unique in satisfying the highest standards of empirical success in a mature field with many successful but falsified predecessors. I argue that taking our (...) theories to be true is justified because it provides the best explanation of (1) the predictive success of their predecessors and (2) their own special success. Against standard and especially structural realism, I argue against the claim that the best explanations of the success of theories is provided by identifying their true components, such as structural relations between unobservable, which are preserved across theory change. In particular, I criticize Ladyman's and Carrier’s structural account of the success of phlogiston theory, and Worrall's well-known structural account of the success of Fresnel’s theory of light. I argue that these accounts tacitly assume the truth of our best theories, which in any case provides a better explanation of these theories’ success than the structural account. Structural realism is now defended as the only version of realism that is able to surmount the pessimistic meta-induction and the general problem that successful theories involve ontological claims concerning unobservable entities that are abandoned and falsified in theory-change. I argue that Best Theory Realism can overcome the pessimistic meta-induction and this general problem posed by theory-change. Our best theories possess a characteristic which sharply distinguishes them from their successful but false predecessors. Furthermore ‘inference-to-the-best-explanation’ confirmation can establish the truth of our best theories and thus trumps the pessimistic inductive reasoning which is supposed to show that even our best theories are most likely false in their claims concerning unobservable entities and processes. (shrink)
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  49. Robert William Fischer (2013). Why It Doesn't Matter Whether the Virtues Are Truth-Conducive. Synthese 191 (6):1-15.score: 1215.0
    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 (...)
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  50. John-Michael Kuczynski (2006). THE ANALOGUE-DIGITAL DISTINCTION AND THE COGENCY OF KANT'S TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENTS. Existentia: An International Journal of Philosophy:279-320.score: 1215.0
    Hume's attempt to show that deduction is the only legitimate form of inference presupposes that enumerative induction is the only non-deductive form of inference. In actuality, enumerative induction is not even a form of inference: all supposed cases of enumerative induction are disguised cases of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), so far as they aren't simply cases of mentation of a purely associative kind and, consequently, of a kind that is non-inductive and otherwise (...)
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