Putting inference to the best explanation in its place

Synthese 98 (2):271-295 (1994)
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This paper discusses the nature and the status of inference to the best explanation. We outline the foundational role given IBE by its defenders and the arguments of critics who deny it any place at all ; argue that, on the two main conceptions of explanation, IBE cannot be a foundational inference rule ; sketch an account of IBE that makes it contextual and dependent on substantive empirical assumptions, much as simplicity seems to be ; show how that account avoids the critics ' complaints and leaves IBE an important role ; and sketch how our account can clarify debates over IBE in arguments for scientific realism



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Citations of this work

Structural Realism.James Ladyman - 2014 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Patterns of Abduction.Gerhard Schurz - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):201-234.

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References found in this work

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
The Problems of Philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - Home University Library.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.

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