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  1. Kreativität.Günter Abel (ed.) - 2005 - Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin.
  2. Analysis of the Talmudic Argumentum A Fortiori Inference Rule Using Matrix Abduction.M. Abraham, Dov M. Gabbay & U. Schild - 2009 - 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 $a_{i,j} = 1$ or $a_{i,j} =?$ undecided. This algorithmic method is then applied (...)
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  3. Abduction by Philosophers: Reorienting Philosophical Methodology.James Andow - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (3):353-370.
    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 that focuses almost exclusively on 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 of intuitions (...)
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  4. Knowledge and Inference to the Best Explanation — a Reply.David B. Annis - 1982 - Philosophia 12 (1-2):77-79.
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  5. Review of Lynn Holt, Apprehension: Reason in the Absence of Rules[REVIEW]Guy Axtell - 2003 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (9).
  6. Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures.Gregor Betz - 2013 - 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. Abductive Knowledge and Holmesian Inference.Alexander Bird - 2005 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--31.
    The usual, comparative, conception of inference to the best explanation (IBE) takes it to be ampliative. In this paper I propose a conception of IBE ('Holmesian inference') that takes it to be a species of eliminative induction and hence not ampliative. This avoids several problems for comparative IBE (for example, how could it be reliable enough to generate knowledge?). My account of Holmesian inference raises the suspicion that it could never be applied, on the grounds that scientific hypotheses are inevitably (...)
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  8. A Priori Abduction.David Botting - 2013 - 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. Should Explanations Omit the Details?Darren Bradley - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    There is a widely shared belief that the higher level sciences can provide better explanations than lower level sciences. But there is little agreement about exactly why this is so. It is often suggested that higher level explanations are better because they omit details. I will argue instead that the preference for higher level explanations is just a special case of our general preference for informative, logically strong, beliefs. I argue that our preference for informative beliefs entirely accounts for why (...)
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  10. Can the New Indispensability Argument Be Saved From Euclidean Rescues?Jacob Busch - 2012 - 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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  11. Is the Indispensability Argument Dispensable?Jacob Busch - 2011 - 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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  12. Unobservability of Short-Lived Particles: Ground for Skepticism About Observational Claims in Elementary Particle Physics.Marcoen J. T. F. Cabbolet - manuscript
    The physics literature contains many claims that elementary particles have been observed: such observational claims are, of course, important for the development of existential knowledge. Regarding claimed observations of short-lived unstable particles in particular, the use of the word 'observation' is based on the convention in physics that the observation of a short-lived unstable particle can be claimed when its predicted decay products have been observed with a significance of 5 sigma. This paper, however, shows that this 5 sigma convention (...)
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  13. Cladistic Parsimony, Historical Linguistics and Cultural Phylogenetics.Frank Cabrera - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (1):65-100.
    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: that cultural artifacts cannot be modeled as tree-like because of borrowing across lineages, and that the mechanism of cultural change differs radically from that of biological evolution. I argue that while perhaps remains true for certain cultural artifacts, the nature of language may be such as to side-step this (...)
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  14. Can There Be a Bayesian Explanationism? On the Prospects of a Productive Partnership.Frank Cabrera - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1245–1272.
    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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  15. Beyond Falsifiability: Normal Science in a Multiverse.Sean M. Carroll - forthcoming - In Richard Dawid, Radin Dardashti & Karim Thebault (eds.), Epistemology of Fundamental Physics: Why Trust a Theory? Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Cosmological models that invoke a multiverse - a collection of unobservable regions of space where conditions are very different from the region around us - are controversial, on the grounds that unobservable phenomena shouldn't play a crucial role in legitimate scientific theories. I argue that the way we evaluate multiverse models is precisely the same as the way we evaluate any other models, on the basis of abduction, Bayesian inference, and empirical success. There is no scientifically respectable way to do (...)
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  16. Truth Approximation Via Abductive Belief Change.Gustavo Cevolani - 2013 - 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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  17. How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
    Where E is the proposition that [If H and O were true, H would explain O], William Roche and Elliot Sober have argued that P(H|O&E) = P(H|O). In this paper I argue that not only is this equality not generally true, it is false in the very kinds of cases that Roche and Sober focus on, involving frequency data. In fact, in such cases O raises the probability of H only given that there is an explanatory connection between them.
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  18. Inference to the Best Explanation Made Incoherent.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (5):251-273.
    Defenders of Inference to the Best Explanation claim that explanatory factors should play an important role in empirical inference. They disagree, however, about how exactly to formulate this role. In particular, they disagree about whether to formulate IBE as an inference rule for full beliefs or for degrees of belief, as well as how a rule for degrees of belief should relate to Bayesianism. In this essay I advance a new argument against non-Bayesian versions of IBE. My argument focuses on (...)
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  19. Mystery and the Evidential Impact of Unexplainables.Matteo Colombo & Dominik Klein - 2018 - Episteme 15 (4):463-475.
    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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  20. Explanatory Value and Probabilistic Reasoning: An Empirical Study.Matteo Colombo, Marie Postma & Jan Sprenger - 2016 - Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society.
    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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  21. Belief is Not the Issue: A Defence of Inference to the Best Explanation.Gregory W. Dawes - 2013 - Ratio 26 (1):62-78.
    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. We ought to accept our best (...)
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  22. Idealization, Abduction, and Progressive Scientific Change.Xavier De Donato-Rodríguez - 2007 - Theoria 22 (3):331-338.
    After a brief comparison of Aliseda’s account with different approaches to abductive reasoning, I relate abduction, as studied by Aliseda, to idealization, a notion which also occupies a very important role in scientific change, as well as to different ways of dealing with the growth of scientific knowledge understood as a particular kind of non-monotonic process. A particularly interesting kind of abductive reasoning could be that of finding an appropriate concretization case for a theory, originally revealed as extraordinarily success-ful but (...)
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  23. Conjectural Paradigm and Empathy as Embodied Mechanism.Noemi De Haro García & María G. Navarro - 2012 - Purlieu. A Philosophical Journal 1 (4):83-96.
    In this paper art history and visual studies, the disciplines that study visual culture, are presented as a field whose conjectural paradigm can be used to understand the epistemic problems associated with abduction. In order to do so, significant statements, concepts and arguments from the work of several specialists in this field have been highlighted. Their analysis shows the fruitfulness and potential for understanding the study of visual culture as a field that is interwoven with the assumptions of abductive cognition.
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  24. Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (Eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. [REVIEW]Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:N/A.
  25. Ted Poston, Reason and Explanation: A Defense of Explanatory Coherentism. [REVIEW]Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (1):117-124.
  26. Reactionary Responses to the Bad Lot Objection.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 61:32-40.
    As it is standardly conceived, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is a form of ampliative inference in which one infers a hypothesis because it provides a better potential explanation of one’s evidence than any other available, competing explanatory hypothesis. Bas van Fraassen famously objected to IBE thus formulated that we may have no reason to think that any of the available, competing explanatory hypotheses are true. While revisionary responses to the Bad Lot Objection concede that IBE needs to be (...)
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  27. Abductively Robust Inference.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):20-29.
    Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is widely criticized for being an unreliable form of ampliative inference – partly because the explanatory hypotheses we have considered at a given time may all be false, and partly because there is an asymmetry between the comparative judgment on which an IBE is based and the absolute verdict that IBE is meant to license. In this paper, I present a further reason to doubt the epistemic merits of IBE and argue that it motivates (...)
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  28. Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Theoria 82 (3):217-237.
    Although many aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation have been extensively discussed, very little has so far been said about what it takes for a hypothesis to count as a rival explanatory hypothesis in the context of IBE. The primary aim of this article is to rectify this situation by arguing for a specific account of explanatory rivalry. On this account, explanatory rivals are complete explanations of a given explanandum. When explanatory rivals are conceived of in this way, I (...)
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  29. Tvö viðhorf til vísindalegrar þekkingar -- eða eitt?Finnur Dellsén - 2015 - Ritið -- Tímarit Hugvísindastofnunar 15 (1):135-155.
    There are two main approaches to the epistemology of science. On the one hand, some hold that a scientific hypothesis is confirmed to the extent that the hypothesis explains the evidence better than alternative hypotheses concerning the same subject-matter. This idea is often referred to as Inference to the Best Explanation. On the other hand, some hold that a scientific hypothesis is confirmed to the extent that the hypothesis is probable given the evidence. This idea is often associated with Bayesianism (...)
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  30. Expertise and Conspiracy Theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (3):196-208.
    Judging the warrant of conspiracy theories can be difficult, and often we rely upon what the experts tell us when it comes to assessing whether particular conspiracy theories ought to be believed. However, whereas there are recognised experts in the sciences, I argue that only are is no such associated expertise when it comes to the things we call `conspiracy theories,' but that the conspiracy theorist has good reason to be suspicious of the role of expert endorsements when it comes (...)
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  31. The Value of Cognitive Values.Heather Douglas - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):796-806.
    Traditionally, cognitive values have been thought of as a collective pool of considerations in science that frequently trade against each other. I argue here that a finer-grained account of the value of cognitive values can help reduce such tensions. I separate the values into groups, minimal epistemic criteria, pragmatic considerations, and genuine epistemic assurance, based in part on the distinction between values that describe theories per se and values that describe theory-evidence relationships. This allows us to clarify why these values (...)
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  32. Weighing Complex Evidence in a Democratic Society.Heather Douglas - 2012 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 22 (2):139-162.
    Weighing complex sets of evidence (i.e., from multiple disciplines and often divergent in implications) is increasingly central to properly informed decision-making. Determining “where the weight of evidence lies” is essential both for making maximal use of available evidence and figuring out what to make of such evidence. Weighing evidence in this sense requires an approach that can handle a wide range of evidential sources (completeness), that can combine the evidence with rigor, and that can do so in a way other (...)
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  33. Abduction.Igor Douven - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Most philosophers agree that abduction (in the sense of Inference to the Best Explanation) is a type of inference that is frequently employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific reasoning. However, the exact form as well as the normative status of abduction are still matters of controversy. This entry contrasts abduction with other types of inference; points at prominent uses of it, both in and outside philosophy; considers various more or less precise statements of it; (...)
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  34. Inference to the Best Explanation Made Coherent.Igor Douven - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (Supplement):S424-S435.
    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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  35. Bayes Not Bust! Why Simplicity Is No Problem for Bayesians.David L. Dowe, Steve Gardner & and Graham Oppy - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):709 - 754.
    The advent of formal definitions of the simplicity of a theory has important implications for model selection. But what is the best way to define simplicity? Forster and Sober ([1994]) advocate the use of Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC), a non-Bayesian formalisation of the notion of simplicity. This forms an important part of their wider attack on Bayesianism in the philosophy of science. We defend a Bayesian alternative: the simplicity of a theory is to be characterised in terms of Wallace's Minimum (...)
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  36. Review of Inference to the Best Explanation by Peter Lipton. [REVIEW]Lefteris Farmakis & Stephan Hartmann - 2005 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (6).
  37. Kreativität Im Denken. Eine Kritik des Reliabilitätsarguments von John D. Norton Gegen Rationalistische Epistemologien Zur Methode des Gedankenexperiments.Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2005 - In Günter Abel (ed.), Kreativität. Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin.
    In this paper I argue that Norton's case against Brown's rationalism about thought experiments suffers from serious shortcomings, which relate to the nature of induction.
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  38. Why It Doesn't Matter Whether the Virtues Are Truth-Conducive.Robert William Fischer - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1-15.
    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 to (...)
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  39. Boldness and Caution in the Methodology and Social Philosophy of Karl Popper.Barry Hallen - 1970 - Dissertation, Boston University Graduate School
  40. Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Valeriano Iranzo - 2008 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 23 (1):89-106.
    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 value in the assessment (...)
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  41. Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation.Valeriano Iranzo - 2007 - Theoria 22 (3):339-346.
    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 are not. Then I (...)
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  42. Critical Epistemology for Analysis of Competing Hypotheses.Nicholaos Jones - 2018 - Intelligence and National Security 33 (2):273-289.
    Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) promises a relatively objective and tractable methodology for ranking the plausibility of competing hypotheses. Unlike Bayesianism, it is computationally modest. Unlike explanationism, it appeals to minimally subjective judgments about relations between hypotheses and evidence. Yet the canonical procedures for ACH allow a certain kind of instability in applications of the methodology, by virtue of supporting competing rankings despite common evidential bases and diagnosticity assessments. This instability should motivate advocates of ACH to focus their efforts toward (...)
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  43. Inference to the More Robust Explanation.Nicholaos Jones - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):75-102.
    ABSTRACT There is a new argument form within theoretical biology. This form takes as input competing explanatory models; it yields as output the conclusion that one of these models is more plausible than the others. The driving force for this argument form is an analysis showing that one model exhibits more parametric robustness than its competitors. This article examines these inferences to the more robust explanation, analysing them as variants of inference to the best explanation. The article defines parametric robustness (...)
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  44. Inference to the Best Explanation: Fundamentalism's Failures.Kareem Khalifa, Jared A. Millson & Mark Risjord - 2017 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 80-96.
    Many epistemologists take Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) to be “fundamental.” For instance, Lycan (1988, 128) writes that “all justified reasoning is fundamentally explanatory reasoning.” Conee and Feldman (2008, 97) concur: “fundamental epistemic principles are principles of best explanation.” Call them fundamentalists. They assert that nothing deeper could justify IBE, as is typically assumed of rules of deductive inference, such as modus ponens. However, logicians account for modus ponens with the valuation rule for the material conditional. By contrast, fundamentalists (...)
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  45. Prior’s Thank-Goodness Argument Reconsidered.Matt La Vine - 2016 - Synthese 193 (11).
    Arthur Prior’s argument for the A-theory of time in “Thank Goodness That’s Over” is perhaps his most famous and well-known non-logical work. Still, I think that this paper is one of his most misunderstood works. Because of this, much of its brilliance has yet to be properly appreciated. In this paper, I suggest that the explanation of this is that it has been treated as though it were following the standard model for a piece of Analytic philosophy. That is, it (...)
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  46. Explanationist Aid for Phenomenal Conservatism.Kevin McCain - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3035-3050.
    Phenomenal conservatism is a popular theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity and the fact that some think that phenomenal conservatism can provide a complete account of justification, it faces several challenges. Among these challenges are the need to provide accounts of defeaters and inferential justification. Fortunately, there is hope for phenomenal conservatism. Explanationism, the view on which justification is a matter of explanatory considerations, can help phenomenal conservatism with both of these challenges. The resulting view is one that respects (...)
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  47. Abduction Through Semantic Tableaux Versus Abduction Through Goal-Directed Proofs.Joke Meheus & Dagmar Provijn - 2007 - Theoria 22 (3):295-304.
    In this paper, we present a goal-directed proof procedure for abductive reasoning. This procedure will be compared with Aliseda’s approach based on semantic tableaux. We begin with some comments on Aliseda’s algorithms for computing conjunctive abductions and show that they do not entirely live up to their aims. Next we give a concise account of goal-directed proofs and we show that abductive explanations are a natural spin-off of these proofs. Finally, we show that the goal-directed procedure solves the problems we (...)
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  48. Weak Scientism Defended Once More: A Reply to Wills.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (6):41-50.
    Bernard Wills (2018) joins Christopher Brown (2017, 2018) in criticizing my defense of Weak Scientism (Mizrahi 2017a, 2017b, 2018a). Unfortunately, it seems that Wills did not read my latest defense of Weak Scientism carefully, nor does he cite any of the other papers in my exchange with Brown.
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  49. Why Scientific Knowledge Is Still the Best.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (9):18-32.
    In his latest attack, even though he claims to be a practitioner of “close reading” (Wills 2018b, 34), it appears that Wills still has not bothered to read the paper in which I defend the thesis he seeks to attack (Mizrahi 2017a), or any of the papers in my exchange with Brown (Mizrahi 2017b; 2018a), as evidenced by the fact that he does not cite them at all. This explains why Wills completely misunderstands Weak Scientism and the arguments for the (...)
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  50. More in Defense of Weak Scientism.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (4):7-25.
    In my (2017a), I defend a view I call Weak Scientism, which is the view that knowledge produced by scientific disciplines is better than knowledge produced by non-scientific disciplines. Scientific knowledge can be said to be quantitatively better than non-scientific knowledge insofar as scientific disciplines produce more impactful knowledge–in the form of scholarly publications–than non-scientific disciplines (as measured by research output and research impact). Scientific knowledge can be said to be qualitatively better than non-scientific knowledge insofar as such knowledge is (...)
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