Realism and the limits of explanatory reasoning

In The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London: Routledge. pp. 200-211 (2018)
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Abstract

This chapter examines issues surrounding inference to the best explanation, its justification, and its role in different arguments for scientific realism, as well as more general issues concerning explanations’ ontological commitments. Defending the reliability of inference to the best explanation has been a central plank in various realist arguments, and realists have drawn various ontological conclusions from the premise that a given scientific explanation best explains some phenomenon. This chapter stresses the importance of thinking carefully about the nature of explanation in connection with evaluating realists’ appeals to explanatory reasoning and inference to the best explanation.

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Juha Saatsi
University of Leeds

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Explaining the brain: mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - New York : Oxford University Press,: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.

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