Inference to the Best explanation

In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193 (2004)
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Abstract

Science depends on judgments of the bearing of evidence on theory. Scientists must judge whether an observation or the result of an experiment supports, disconfirms, or is simply irrelevant to a given hypothesis. Similarly, scientists may judge that, given all the available evidence, a hypothesis ought to be accepted as correct or nearly so, rejected as false, or neither. Occasionally, these evidential judgments can be made on deductive grounds. If an experimental result strictly contradicts a hypothesis, then the truth of the data deductively entails the falsity of the hypothesis. In the great majority of cases, however, the connection between evidence and hypothesis is non-demonstrative, or inductive. In particular, this is so whenever a general hypothesis is inferred to be correct on the basis of the available data, since the truth of the data will not deductively entail the truth of the hypothesis. It always remains possible that the hypothesis is false even though the data are correct.

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Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].

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