Analysis 77 (1):20-29 (2017)

Authors
Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland
Abstract
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 moving to an inferential pattern in which IBE emerges as a degenerate limiting case. Since this inferential pattern is structurally similar to an argumentative strategy known as Inferential Robustness Analysis (IRA), it effectively combines the most attractive features of IBE and IRA into a unified approach to non-deductive inference.
Keywords inference to the best explanation  robustness analysis  multiple plausible rivals
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1093/analys/anx049
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References found in this work BETA

Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1993 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Judgement and Justification.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Cambridge University Press.
The Inference to the Best Explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.

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Citations of this work BETA

Non-Empirical Robustness Arguments in Quantum Gravity.Niels S. Linnemann - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:70-86.
Explanatory Consolidation: From ‘Best’ to ‘Good Enough’.Finnur Dellsén - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):157-177.

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