Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation
Kevin McCain, Ted Poston
Oxford University Press, Dec 1, 2017 - Science - 288 pages
Explanatory reasoning is ubiquitous. Not only are rigorous inferences to the best explanation used pervasively in the sciences, this kind of reasoning is common in everyday life. Despite its widespread use, inference to the best explanation is still in need of precise formulation, and it remains controversial. On the one hand, supporters of explanationism take inference to the best explanation to be a justifying form of inference; some even take all justification to be a matter of explanatory reasoning. On the other hand, critics object that inference to the best explanation is not a fundamental form of inference, and some argue that we should be skeptical of inference to the best explanation in general. This volume brings together twenty philosophers to explore various aspects of inference to the best explanation and the debates surrounding it. These specially commissioned essays constitute the cutting edge of research on the role explanatory considerations play in epistemology and philosophy of science.
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abduction abductive inference argue assumption basic Bayes Bayesian best explanation Cambridge causal CCC and SCC chapter claim coherentism conclusion conditionalization confirmation consider constraints context correlations credence Douven Econfirms H entails enumerative induction epistemic justification epistemic principles Epistemology evidence evidential example experiences explanationism explanationist explanatory considerations explanatory virtues external world external world skepticism fact false Fraassen framework Fumerton hypothesis IBE's induction inductive reasoning inference rule instance justify IBE knowledge likelihood Lipton logical McCain modus ponens norm objects observable one's Oxford University Press partition Peirce Philosophy of Science plausibility positive possible Poston Pr(e Pr(H premises principle of indifference prior probabilities probabilistic probability distributions problem propositions Psillos Ramsey rational reasoning reductionism relations relevant reliability requires rule-circular arguments Schupbach scientific screening-off Section skeptical challenges skeptical hypotheses speaker suppose T-recipient Ted Poston telling testimony theoretical theory thick inferences true truth Type updating version of IBE warrant