Psychological adequacy and Ontological Commitments of Inference to the Best Explanation

Problemos 79:41-54 (2011)

The article explicates psychological and ontological aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation . IBE is a psychological theory, because cognitive science studies support IBE as descriptively true and psychologically adequate theory, i.e., people perceive best explanations as true and follow the rule of IBE in their reasoning. Moreover, different features of IBE imply that conclusions of IBE can be true only in a world with a very particular ontological constitution. Realism about the external world, the uniformity of nature, the truth of background knowledge and the truth-conduciveness of explanatory virtues are necessary and sufficient for IBE to be truth-conducive. Therefore, IBE is an epistemic theory only because at the same time it is committed to a particular ontology. Keywords: inference to the best explanation, abduction, psychology, ontology, explanatory virtues.
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