Results for 'inference to the best explanation'

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  1. Inference to the Best Explanation, Coherence and Other Explanatory Virtues.Adolfas Mackonis - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):975-995.
    This article generalizes the explanationist account of inference to the best explanation. It draws a clear distinction between IBE and abduction and presents abduction as the first step of IBE. The second step amounts to the evaluation of explanatory power, which consist in the degree of explanatory virtues that a hypothesis exhibits. Moreover, even though coherence is the most often cited explanatory virtue, on pain of circularity, it should not be treated as one of the explanatory virtues. (...)
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  2. Induction and Inference to the Best Explanation.Ruth Weintraub - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):203-216.
    In this paper I adduce a new argument in support of the claim that IBE is an autonomous form of inference, based on a familiar, yet surprisingly, under-discussed, problem for Hume’s theory of induction. I then use some insights thereby gleaned to argue for the claim that induction is really IBE, and draw some normative conclusions.
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  3.  16
    Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
    How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? According to the model of _Inference to the Best Explanation_, we work out what to infer from the evidence by thinking about what would actually explain that evidence, and we take the ability of a hypothesis to explain the evidence as a sign that the hypothesis is correct. In _Inference to the Best Explanation_, Peter Lipton gives this important and influential idea the development and assessment it (...)
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  4. Conjunctive Explanations and Inference to the Best Explanation.Jonah Schupbach - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):143-162.
    Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) advises reasoners to infer exactly one explanation. This uniqueness claim apparently binds us when it comes to “conjunctive explanations,” distinct explanations that are nonetheless explanatorily better together than apart. To confront this worry, explanationists qualify their statement of IBE, stipulating that this inference form only adjudicates between competing hypotheses. However, a closer look into the nature of competition reveals problems for this qualified account. Given the most common explication of (...)
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  5. Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
    How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? The model of " inference to the best explanation " -- that we infer the hypothesis that would, if correct, provide the best explanation of the available evidence--offers a compelling account of inferences both in science and in ordinary life. Widely cited by epistemologists and philosophers of science, IBE has nonetheless remained little more than a slogan. Now this influential work has been thoroughly (...)
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  6. Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
    "How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses and making inferences? According to the model of 'inference to the Best explanation', we work out what to inter from the evidence by thinking about what would actually explain that evidence, and we take the ability of a hypothesis to explain the evidence as a sign that the hypothesis is correct. In inference to the Best Explanation, Peter Lipton gives this important and influential idea the (...)
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  7. Inference to the Best Explanation Made Incoherent.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (5):251-273.
    Defenders of Inference to the Best Explanation claim that explanatory factors should play an important role in empirical inference. They disagree, however, about how exactly to formulate this role. In particular, they disagree about whether to formulate IBE as an inference rule for full beliefs or for degrees of belief, as well as how a rule for degrees of belief should relate to Bayesianism. In this essay I advance a new argument against non-Bayesian versions of (...)
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  8.  39
    Informational Virtues, Causal Inference, and Inference to the Best Explanation.Barry Ward - manuscript
    Frank Cabrera argues that informational explanatory virtues—specifically, mechanism, precision, and explanatory scope—cannot be confirmational virtues, since hypotheses that possess them must have a lower probability than less virtuous, entailed hypotheses. We argue against Cabrera’s characterization of confirmational virtue and for an alternative on which the informational virtues clearly are confirmational virtues. Our illustration of their confirmational virtuousness appeals to aspects of causal inference, suggesting that causal inference has a role for the explanatory virtues. We briefly explore this possibility, (...)
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  9. Putting Inference to the Best Explanation in its Place.Timothy Day & Harold Kincaid - 1994 - Synthese 98 (2):271-295.
    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 ; (...)
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  10.  38
    Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.
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  11. The Inference to the Best Explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.
  12. Inference to the Best Explanation Made Coherent.Igor Douven - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (Supplement):S424-S435.
    Van Fraassen (1989) argues that Inference to the Best Explanation is incoherent in the sense that adopting it as a rule for belief change will make one susceptible to a dynamic Dutch book. The present paper argues against this. A strategy is described that allows us to infer to the best explanation free of charge.
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  13. Inference to the Best Explanation and van Fraassen’s Contextual Theory of Explanation: Reply to Park.Yunus Prasetya - 2021 - Axiomathes 32 (2):355-365.
    Seungbae Park argues that Bas van Fraassen’s rejection of inference to the best explanation (IBE) is problematic for his contextual theory of explanation because van Fraassen uses IBE to support the contextual theory. This paper provides a defense of van Fraassen’s views from Park’s objections. I point out three weaknesses of Park’s objection against van Fraassen. First, van Fraassen may be perfectly content to accept the implications that Park claims to follow from his views. Second, even (...)
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  14. Inference to the Best Explanation: Or, Who Won the Mill-Whewell Debate?Peter Achinstein - 1992 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (2):349-364.
  15.  68
    Inference to the Best Explanation in Uncertain Evidential Situations.Borut Trpin & Max Pellert - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):977-1001.
    It has recently been argued that a non-Bayesian probabilistic version of inference to the best explanation (IBE*) has a number of advantages over Bayesian conditionalization (Douven [2013]; Douven and Wenmackers [2017]). We investigate how IBE* could be generalized to uncertain evidential situations and formulate a novel updating rule IBE**. We then inspect how it performs in comparison to its Bayesian counterpart, Jeffrey conditionalization (JC), in a number of simulations where two agents, each updating by IBE** and JC, (...)
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  16.  45
    Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
    Science depends on judgments of the bearing of evidence on theory. Scientists must judge whether an observation or the result of an experiment supports, disconfirms, or is simply irrelevant to a given hypothesis. Similarly, scientists may judge that, given all the available evidence, a hypothesis ought to be accepted as correct or nearly so, rejected as false, or neither. Occasionally, these evidential judgments can be made on deductive grounds. If an experimental result strictly contradicts a hypothesis, then the truth of (...)
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  17.  79
    Inference to the Best Explanation Versus Bayes’s Rule in a Social Setting.Igor Douven & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).
    This article compares inference to the best explanation with Bayes’s rule in a social setting, specifically, in the context of a variant of the Hegselmann–Krause model in which agents not only update their belief states on the basis of evidence they receive directly from the world, but also take into account the belief states of their fellow agents. So far, the update rules mentioned have been studied only in an individualistic setting, and it is known that in (...)
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  18.  42
    Inference to the Best Explanation and Mechanisms in Medicine.Stefan Dragulinescu - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (3):211-232.
    This article considers the prospects of inference to the best explanation as a method of confirming causal claims vis-à-vis the medical evidence of mechanisms. I show that IBE is actually descriptive of how scientists reason when choosing among hypotheses, that it is amenable to the balance/weight distinction, a pivotal pair of concepts in the philosophy of evidence, and that it can do justice to interesting features of the interplay between mechanistic and population level assessments.
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  19. The Inference to the Best Explanation.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 1990 - Erkenntnis 33 (3):319-44.
    In a situation in which several explanations compete, is the one that is better qua explanation also the one we should regard as the more likely to be true? Realists usually answer in the affirmative. They then go on to argue that since realism provides the best explanation for the success of science, realism can be inferred to. Nonrealists, on the other hand, answer the above question in the negative, thereby renouncing the inference to realism. In (...)
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  20.  39
    Inference to the Best Explanation, Cleaned Up and Made Respectable.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2018 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford University Press. pp. 39-61.
    Despite decades of focused philosophical investigation, Inference to the Best Explanation still lacks a precise articulation and compelling defense. The primary reason for this is that it is not at all clear what it means for a hypothesis to be the best available explanation of the evidence. This paper first seeks to rectify this problem by developing a formal explication of the explanatory virtue of power. A resulting account of IBE is then evaluated as a (...)
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  21. Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures.Gregor Betz - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3553-3578.
    This article discusses how inference to the best explanation can be justified as a practical meta - argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in — and relative to — a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, (...)
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  22. Integrating Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation.Michael J. Shaffer - forthcoming - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy.
    Tomis Kapitan’s work on Peirce’s conception of abduction was instrumental for our coming to see how Peircean abduction both relates to and is importantly different from inference to the best explanation (IBE). However, he ultimately concluded that Peirce’s conception of abduction was a muddle. Despite the deeply problematic nature of Peirce’s theory of abduction in these respects, Kapitan’s work on Peircean abduction offers insight into the nature of abductive inquiry that is importantly relevant to the task of (...)
     
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  23. Testing Inference To The Best Explanation.Igor Douven - 2002 - Synthese 130 (3):355-377.
    Inference to the Best Explanation has become the subject of a lively debate in the philosophy of science. Scientific realists maintain, while scientific antirealists deny, that it is a compelling rule of inference. It seems that any attempt to settle this debate empirically must beg the question against the antirealist. The present paper argues that this impression is misleading. A method is described that, by combining Glymour's theory of bootstrapping and Hacking's arguments from microscopy, allows us (...)
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  24.  99
    Inference to the Best Explanation.Jonathan Vogel - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):419.
  25.  82
    Inference to the Best Explanation, Dutch Books, and Inaccuracy Minimisation.Igor Douven - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252):428-444.
    Bayesians have traditionally taken a dim view of the Inference to the Best Explanation, arguing that, if IBE is at variance with Bayes ' rule, then it runs afoul of the dynamic Dutch book argument. More recently, Bayes ' rule has been claimed to be superior on grounds of conduciveness to our epistemic goal. The present paper aims to show that neither of these arguments succeeds in undermining IBE.
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  26. Inference to the Best Explanation: Is It Really Different From Mill’s Methods?Steven Rappaport - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (1):65-80.
    Peter Lipton has attempted to flesh out a model of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) by clarifying explanation in terms of a causal model. But Lipton's account of explanation makes an adequate explanation depend on a principle which is virtually identical to Mill's Method of Difference. This has the result of collapsing IBE on Lipton's account of it into causal inference as conceived by the Causal-Inference model of induction. According to this (...)
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  27.  91
    Inference to the Best Explanation - An Overview.Frank Cabrera - forthcoming - In Lorenzo Magnani (ed.), Handbook of Abductive Cognition. Springer. pp. 1-37.
    In this article, I will provide a critical overview of the form of non-deductive reasoning commonly known as “Inference to the Best Explanation” (IBE). Roughly speaking, according to IBE, we ought to infer the hypothesis that provides the best explanation of our evidence. In section 2, I survey some contemporary formulations of IBE and highlight some of its putative applications. In section 3, I distinguish IBE from C.S. Peirce’s notion of abduction. After underlining some of (...)
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  28.  52
    Phylogenetic Inference to the Best Explanation and the Bad Lot Argument.Aleta Quinn - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    I respond to the bad lot argument in the context of biological systematics. The response relies on the historical nature of biological systematics and on the availability of pattern explanations. The basic assumption of common descent enables systematic methodology to naturally generate candidate explanatory hypotheses. However, systematists face a related challenge in the issue of character analysis. Character analysis is the central problem for contemporary systematics, yet the general problem of which it is a case—what counts as evidence?—has not been (...)
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  29.  18
    Inference to the best explanation as supporting the expansion of mathematicians’ ontological commitments.Marc Lange - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    This paper argues that in mathematical practice, conjectures are sometimes confirmed by “Inference to the Best Explanation” as applied to some mathematical evidence. IBE operates in mathematics in the same way as IBE in science. When applied to empirical evidence, IBE sometimes helps to justify the expansion of scientists’ ontological commitments. Analogously, when applied to mathematical evidence, IBE sometimes helps to justify mathematicians' in expanding the range of their ontological commitments. IBE supplements other forms of non-deductive reasoning (...)
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  30. Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism.Sorin Ioan Bangu - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):13-20.
    Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.
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  31.  36
    Inference to the Best Explanation, Naturalism, and Theism.Seungbae Park - forthcoming - Implicit Religion.
    De Ray argues that relying on inference to the best explanation (IBE) requires the metaphysical belief that most phenomena have explanations. I object that instead the metaphysical belief requires the use of IBE. De Ray uses IBE himself to establish theism that God is the cause of the metaphysical belief, and thus he has the burden of establishing the metaphysical belief independently of using IBE. Naturalism that the world is the cause of the metaphysical belief is preferable (...)
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  32.  41
    Inference to the Best Explanation in the Catch-22: How Much Autonomy for Mill’s Method of Difference?Raphael Scholl - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):89-110.
    In his seminal Inference to the Best Explanation, Peter Lipton adopted a causal view of explanation and a broadly Millian view of how causal knowledge is obtained. This made his account vulnerable to critics who charged that Inference to the Best Explanation is merely a dressed-up version of Mill’s methods, which in the critics’ view do the real inductive work. Lipton advanced two arguments to protect Inference to the Best Explanation (...)
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  33. Inference to the Best Explanation: Does It Track Truth?David H. Glass - 2012 - Synthese 185 (3):411-427.
    In the form of inference known as inference to the best explanation there are various ways to characterise what is meant by the best explanation. This paper considers a number of such characterisations including several based on confirmation measures and several based on coherence measures. The goal is to find a measure which adequately captures what is meant by 'best' and which also yields the truth with a high degree of probability. Computer simulations (...)
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  34. Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism.Stathis Psillos - 2004 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 11:83-91.
    Niiniluoto has offered an incisive and comprehensive review of the recent debates about abduction. There is little on which I disagree with him. So, in this commentary, I shall try to cast some doubts to the attempts to render Inference to the Best Explanation within a Bayesian framework.
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  35. The Heuristic Conception of Inference to the Best Explanation.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1745-1766.
    An influential suggestion about the relationship between Bayesianism and inference to the best explanation holds that IBE functions as a heuristic to approximate Bayesian reasoning. While this view promises to unify Bayesianism and IBE in a very attractive manner, important elements of the view have not yet been spelled out in detail. I present and argue for a heuristic conception of IBE on which IBE serves primarily to locate the most probable available explanatory hypothesis to serve as (...)
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  36.  60
    Inference to the Best Explanation and Epistemic Circularity.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2017 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.
    Inference to the best explanation—or, IBE—tells us to infer from the available evidence to the hypothesis which would, if correct, best explain that evidence. As Peter Lipton puts it, the core idea driving IBE is that explanatory considerations are a guide to inference. But what is the epistemic status of IBE, itself? One issue of contemporary interest is whether it is possible to provide a justification for IBE itself which is non- objectionably circular. We aim (...)
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  37.  36
    Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) Versus Explaining for the Best Inference.Tania Lombrozo & Daniel Wilkenfeld - 2015 - Science & Education 24 (9-10):1059-1077.
    In pedagogical contexts and in everyday life, we often come to believe something because it would best explain the data. What is it about the explanatory endeavor that makes it essential to everyday learning and to scientific progress? There are at least two plausible answers. On one view, there is something special about having true explanations. This view is highly intuitive: it’s clear why true explanations might improve one’s epistemic position. However, there is another possibility—it could be that the (...)
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  38. Putting Explanation Back Into “Inference to the Best Explanation”.Marc Lange - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):84-109.
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  39.  67
    Inference to the Best Explanation: Or, Who Won the Mill-Whewell Debate?: Peter Lipton (London: Routledge, 1991), X+ 194 Pp. ISBN 0-415-05886-4 Cloth£ 35.00. [REVIEW]Peter Achinstein - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (2):349-364.
  40. Inference to the Best Explanation and Other Minds.Andrew Melnyk - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (4):482-91.
    Robert Pargetter has argued that we know other minds through an inference to the best explanation. My aim is to show, by criticising Pargetter's account, that this approach to the problem of other minds cannot, as it stands, deliver the goods; it might be part of the right response to the problem, but it cannot be the whole story. More precisely, I will claim that Pargetter does not successfully reconstruct how ordinary people in everyday life come reasonably (...)
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  41.  14
    Inference to the Best Explanation.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):424-432.
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  42. Alien Abduction: Inference to the Best Explanation and the Management of Testimony.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Episteme 4 (3):238-251.
    This paper considers how we decide whether to believe what we are told. Inference to the Best Explanation, a popular general account of non-demonstrative reasoning, is applied to this task. The core idea of this application is that we believe what we are told when the truth of what we are told would figure in the best explanation of the fact that we were told it. We believe the fact uttered when it is part of (...)
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    Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Milne - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):970-972.
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  44.  39
    Inference to the Best Explanation as a Theory for the Quality of Mechanistic Evidence in Medicine.Stefan Dragulinescu - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):353-372.
    Inference to the Best Explanation is usually employed in the Scientific Realism debates. As far as particular scientific theories are concerned, its most ready usage seems to be that of a theory of confirmation. There are however more uses of IBE, namely as an epistemological theory of testimony and as a means of categorising and justifying the sources of evidence. In this paper, I will present, develop and exemplify IBE as a theory of the quality of evidence (...)
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  45.  9
    Inference to the Best Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):441-448.
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  46. Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Leah Henderson - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):687-715.
    Two of the most influential theories about scientific inference are inference to the best explanation and Bayesianism. How are they related? Bas van Fraassen has claimed that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible rival theories, as any probabilistic version of IBE would violate Bayesian conditionalization. In response, several authors have defended the view that IBE is compatible with Bayesian updating. They claim that the explanatory considerations in IBE are taken into account by the Bayesian because the Bayesian (...)
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  47. Cartesian Skepticism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Jonathan Vogel - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (11):658-666.
  48.  21
    Inference to the Best Explanation and Norton's Material Theory of Induction.Kevin Davey - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:137-144.
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  49. Why Inference to the Best Explanation Doesn’T Secure Empirical Grounds for Mathematical Platonism.Kenneth Boyce - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):1-13.
    Proponents of the explanatory indispensability argument for mathematical platonism maintain that claims about mathematical entities play an essential explanatory role in some of our best scientific explanations. They infer that the existence of mathematical entities is supported by way of inference to the best explanation from empirical phenomena and therefore that there are the same sort of empirical grounds for believing in mathematical entities as there are for believing in concrete unobservables such as quarks. I object (...)
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    Inference to the Best Explanation: Fundamentalism's Failures.Kareem Khalifa, Jared A. Millson & Mark Risjord - 2017 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 80-96.
    Many epistemologists take Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) to be “fundamental.” For instance, Lycan (1988, 128) writes that “all justified reasoning is fundamentally explanatory reasoning.” Conee and Feldman (2008, 97) concur: “fundamental epistemic principles are principles of best explanation.” Call them fundamentalists. They assert that nothing deeper could justify IBE, as is typically assumed of rules of deductive inference, such as modus ponens. However, logicians account for modus ponens with the valuation rule for (...)
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