In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--31 (2005)

Authors
Alexander James Bird
Cambridge University
Abstract
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 underdetermined by the evidence (i.e. are inevitably ampliative). I argue that this concern may be resisted by acknowledging, as Timothy Williamson has shown, that all knowledge is evidence. The latter suggests an approach to resisting scepticism different from those (e.g. the reliabilist approach) that embrace fallibilism.
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References found in this work BETA

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Bayes or Bust?John Earman - 1992 - Bradford.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

What Reasoning Might Be.Markos Valaris - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
Some Evidence is False.Alexander Arnold - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):165 - 172.
Eliminative Abduction: Examples From Medicine.Alexander Bird - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):345-352.
Inductions, Red Herrings, and the Best Explanation for the Mixed Record of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):803-819.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ampliative Abduction.James Blachowicz - 1996 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (2):141 – 157.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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