In Ted Poston & Kevin McCain (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford University Press (2017)

Ali Hasan
University of Iowa
Laurence BonJour and more recently James Beebe have argued that the best way to defend the claim that abduction or inference to the best explanation is epistemically justified is the rationalist view that it is justified a priori. However, rationalism about abduction faces a number of challenges. This chapter focuses on one particular, highly influential objection, that there is no interpretation of probability available which is compatible with rationalism about abduction. The rationalist who wants to maintain a strong connection between epistemic justification and probability would do best to rely on a Keynesian interpretation of probability. However, the latter is vulnerable to Ramsey’s famous criticism that we do not seem to perceive or be aware of such probabilities. The chapter argues that Ramsey’s criticism is unsuccessful, and that there are good reasons to be optimistic about our ability to have access to probabilities relevant to abductive inference.
Keywords rationalism  a priori justification  abduction  inference to the best explanation  Keynes  probability
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Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
Knowledge by Acquaintance Vs. Description.Ali Hasan & Richard Fumerton - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Evidence in Perception.Ali Hasan - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence.
Knowledge by Acquaintance Vs. Description.Richard Fumerton - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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