Is Explanatoriness a Guide to Confirmation? A Reply to Climenhaga

Authors
Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison
William Roche
Texas Christian University
Abstract
We argued that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in the following sense: Let H be a hypothesis, O an observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then our claim is that Pr = Pr. We defended this screening-off thesis by discussing an example concerning smoking and cancer. Climenhaga argues that SOT is mistaken because it delivers the wrong verdict about a slightly different smoking-and-cancer case. He also considers a variant of SOT, called “SOT*”, and contends that it too gives the wrong result. We here reply to Climenhaga’s arguments and suggest that SOT provides a criticism of the widely held theory of inference called “inference to the best explanation”.
Keywords Bayesianism  Climenhaga  Confirmation  Explanatoriness  Inference to the best explanation  Screening-off
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-016-9357-5
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References found in this work BETA

How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Jonathan Vogel & Peter Lipton - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):419.
Scientific Reasoning: The Bayesian Approach.Colin Howson & Peter Urbach - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (1):126-131.

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