Synthese 161 (2):271 - 282 (2008)

Abstract
Nancy Cartwright relies upon an inference pattern known as inference to the best causal explanation (IBCE) to support a limited form of entity realism, according to which we are warranted in believing in entities that purportively cause observable effects. IBCE, as usually understood, is valid, even though all other forms of inference to the best explanation (IBE) are usually understood to be invalid. We argue that IBCE and IBE are in the same boat with respect to their ability to support realist conclusions. Either rule can be interpreted as valid, this is a matter of semantic convention. However, doing so deprives the rule of the empirical content the realist needs, requiring the realist to find independent warrant for a strong (theoretical or causal) premise. We then examine the proposed means of obtaining this warrant, and find them as inadequate in the case of IBCE as they are in the case of IBE.
Keywords Realism  Inference to the best explanation  Inference to the best casual explanation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-007-9159-8
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,975
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Causal Warrant for Realism About Particle Physics.Matthias Egg - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):259-280.
Reality in Perspectives.Mahdi Khalili - 2022 - Dissertation, VU University Amsterdam

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
187 ( #61,537 of 2,498,211 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #282,957 of 2,498,211 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes