Explanation and epistemology

In Paul K. Moser (ed.), The Oxford handbook of epistemology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 413 (2002)
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Abstract

Second, there is a form of ampliative inference that has come to be called ‘inference to the best explanation,’ or more briefly ‘explanatory inference.’ Roughly: From the fact that a certain hypothesis would explain the data at hand better than any other available hypothesis, we infer with some degree of confidence that that leading hypothesis is correct. There is no question but that this inference is often performed. Arguably, every human being performs it many times in a day, perhaps without letup

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William G. Lycan
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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