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  1. Abduction and Composition.Ken Aizawa & Drew B. Headley - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):268-82.
    Some New Mechanists have proposed that claims of compositional relations are justified by combining the results of top-down and bottom-up interlevel interventions. But what do scientists do when they can perform, say, a cellular intervention, but not a subcellular detection? In such cases, paired interlevel interventions are unavailable. We propose that scientists use abduction and we illustrate its use through a case study of the ionic theory of resting and action potentials.
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  2. 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 to theism, contrary (...)
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  3. 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 the essential elements of IBE, (...)
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  4. A Means-End Classification of Argumentation Schemes.Fabrizio Macagno - 2015 - In Frans van Eemeren & Bart Garssen (eds.), Reflections on theoretical issues in argumentation theory. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 183-201.
    One of the crucial problems of argumentation schemes as illustrated in (Walton, Reed & Macagno 2008) is their practical use for the purpose of analyzing texts and producing arguments. The high number and the lack of a classification criterion make this instrument extremely difficult to apply practically. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the structure of argumentation schemes and outline a possible criterion of classification based on alternative and mutually-exclusive possibilities. Such a criterion is based not on what (...)
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  5. Ignoring Qualifications as a Pragmatic Fallacy: Enrichments and Their Use for Manipulating Commitments.Fabrizio Macagno - 2022 - Langages 1 (13).
    The fallacy of ignoring qualifications, or secundum quid et simpliciter, is a deceptive strategy that is pervasive in argumentative dialogues, discourses, and discussions. It consists in misrepresenting an utterance so that its meaning is broadened, narrowed, or simply modified to pursue different goals, such as drawing a specific conclusion, attacking the interlocutor, or generating humorous reactions. The “secundum quid” was described by Aristotle as an interpretative manipulative strategy, based on the contrast between the “proper” sense of a statement and its (...)
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  6. Inference to the Best Explanation and the New Size Elitism1.Katrina Elliott - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):170-188.
    Philosophical Perspectives, Volume 35, Issue 1, Page 170-188, December 2021.
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  7. The Fate of Explanatory Reasoning in the Age of Big Data.Frank Cabrera - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (4):645-665.
    In this paper, I critically evaluate several related, provocative claims made by proponents of data-intensive science and “Big Data” which bear on scientific methodology, especially the claim that scientists will soon no longer have any use for familiar concepts like causation and explanation. After introducing the issue, in Section 2, I elaborate on the alleged changes to scientific method that feature prominently in discussions of Big Data. In Section 3, I argue that these methodological claims are in tension with a (...)
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  8. Explanatory Coherence and the Impossibility of Confirmation by Coherence.Ted Poston - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):835-848.
    The coherence of independent reports provides a strong reason to believe that the reports are true. This plausible claim has come under attack from recent work in Bayesian epistemology. This work shows that, under certain probabilistic conditions, coherence cannot increase the probability of the target claim. These theorems are taken to demonstrate that epistemic coherentism is untenable. To date no one has investigated how these results bear on different conceptions of coherence. I investigate this situation using Thagard’s ECHO model of (...)
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  9. From Water to the Stars: A Reinterpretation of Galileo’s Style.Louis Caruana - 2014 - In P. Lo Nostro & B. Ninham (eds.), Aqua Incognita: why ice floats on water and Galileo 400 years on. Ballart-Australia: Connor Court. pp. 1-17.
    The clash between Galileo and the Catholic Inquisition has been discussed, studied, and written about for many decades. The scientific, theological, political, and social implications have all been carefully analysed and appreciated in all their interpretative fruitfulness. The relatively recent trend in this kind of scholarship however seems to have underestimated the fact that Galileo in this debate, as in his earlier debates, showed a particular style marked by overconfidence. If we keep in mind the Lakatosian account of scientific development, (...)
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  10. Scientific Realism and Empirical Confirmation: A Puzzle.Simon Allzén - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:153-159.
    Scientific realism driven by inference to the best explanation (IBE) takes empirically confirmed objects to exist,independent,paceempiricism, of whether those objects are observable or not. This kind of realism, it has beenclaimed, does not need probabilistic reasoning to justify the claim that these objects exist. But I show that thereare scientific contexts in which a non-probabilistic IBE-driven realism leads to a puzzle. Since IBE can be appliedin scientific contexts in which empirical confirmation has not yet been reached, realists will in these (...)
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  11. The Contextual Theory of Explanation and Inference to the Best Explanation.Seungbae Park - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-16.
    Van Fraassen explains rejections and asymmetries in science in terms of his contextual theory of explanation in the same way that scientists explain observable phenomena in the world in terms of scientific theories. I object that van Fraassen’s skeptical view regarding inference to the best explanation together with the English view of rationality jointly imply that the contextual theory is not rationally compelling, so van Fraassen and his epistemic colleagues can rationally disbelieve it. Prasetya replies that the truth of the (...)
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  12. That’s Not IBE: Reply to Park.Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-7.
    Park (2017, 2018, 2019) argues that Bas van Fraassen uses inference to the best explanation to defend his contextual theory of explanation. If Park is right, then van Fraassen is in trouble because he rejects IBE as a rational rule of inference. In this reply, I argue that van Fraassen does not use IBE in defending the contextual theory of explanation. I distinguish between several conceptions of IBE: heuristic IBE, objective Bayesian IBE, and ampliative IBE. I argue that van Fraassen (...)
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  13. Is Epistemic Anxiety an Intellectual Virtue?Frank Cabrera - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):1-25.
    In this paper, I discuss the ways in which epistemic anxiety promotes well-being, specifically by examining the positive contributions that feelings of epistemic anxiety make toward intellectually virtuous inquiry. While the prospects for connecting the concept of epistemic anxiety to the two most prominent accounts of intellectual virtue, i.e., “virtue-reliabilism” and “virtue-responsibilism”, are promising, I primarily focus on whether the capacity for epistemic anxiety counts as an intellectual virtue in the reliabilist sense. As I argue, there is a close yet (...)
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  14. Pragmatic Particularism.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    For the Intentionalist, utterance content is wholly determined by a speaker’s meaning-intentions; the sentence uttered serves merely to facilitate the audience’s recovering these intentions. We argue that Intentionalists ought to be Particularists, holding that the only “principles” of meaning recovery needed are those governing inferences to the best explanation; “principles” that are both defeasible and, in a sense to be elaborated, variable. We discuss some ways in which some theorists have erred in trying to tame the “wild west” of pragmatics (...)
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  15. Which Models of Scientific Explanation Are (In)Compatible with IBE?Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this article, I explore the compatibility of inference to the best explanation (IBE) with several influential models and accounts of scientific explanation. First, I explore the different conceptions of IBE and limit my discussion to two: the heuristic conception and the objective Bayesian conception. Next, I discuss five models of scientific explanation with regard to each model’s compatibility with IBE. I argue that Philip Kitcher’s unificationist account supports IBE; Peter Railton’s deductive-nomological-probabilistic model, Wesley Salmon’s statistical-relevance Model, and Bas van (...)
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  16. The Intrinsic Probability of Grand Explanatory Theories.Ted Poston - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (4):401-420.
    This paper articulates a way to ground a relatively high prior probability for grand explanatory theories apart from an appeal to simplicity. I explore the possibility of enumerating the space of plausible grand theories of the universe by using the explanatory properties of possible views to limit the number of plausible theories. I motivate this alternative grounding by showing that Swinburne’s appeal to simplicity is problematic along several dimensions. I then argue that there are three plausible grand views—theism, atheism, and (...)
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  17. Van Fraassen’s Best of a Bad Lot Objection, IBE and Rationality.Michael J. Shaffer - 2021 - Logique Et Analyse 255:267-273.
    Van Fraassen’s (1989) infamous best of a bad lot objection is widely taken to be the most serious problem that afflicts theories of inference to the best explanation (IBE), for it alleges to show that we should not accept the conclusion of any case of such reasoning as it actually proceeds. Moreover, this is supposed to be the case irrespective of the details of the particular criteria used to select best explanations. The best of a bad lot objection is predicated (...)
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  18. Correlation Isn’T Good Enough: Causal Explanation and Big Data. [REVIEW]Frank Cabrera - 2021 - Metascience 30 (2):335-338.
    A review of Gary Smith and Jay Cordes: The Phantom Pattern Problem: The Mirage of Big Data. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.
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  19. Determining the Need for Explanation.Martin Jakobsen - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (2):230-241.
    Several theistic arguments are formulated as arguments for the best explanation. This article discusses how one can determine that some phenomenon actually needs an explanation. One way to demonstrate that an explanation is needed is by providing one. The proposed explanation ought to either make the occurrence of the phenomenon in question more probable than it occurring by chance, or it has to sufficiently increase our understanding of the phenomenon. A second way to demonstrate that an explanation is needed is (...)
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  20. Evidence and Explanation in Cicero's On Divination.Frank Cabrera - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 82:34-43.
    In this paper, I examine Cicero’s oft-neglected De Divinatione, a dialogue investigating the legitimacy of the practice of divination. First, I offer a novel analysis of the main arguments for divination given by Quintus, highlighting the fact that he employs two logically distinct argument forms. Next, I turn to the first of the main arguments against divination given by Marcus. Here I show, with the help of modern probabilistic tools, that Marcus’ skeptical response is far from the decisive, proto-naturalistic assault (...)
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  21. Evidence and Inductive Inference.Nevin Climenhaga - 2021 - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
    This chapter presents a typology of the different kinds of inductive inferences we can draw from our evidence, based on the explanatory relationship between evidence and conclusion. Drawing on the literature on graphical models of explanation, I divide inductive inferences into (a) downwards inferences, which proceed from cause to effect, (b) upwards inferences, which proceed from effect to cause, and (c) sideways inferences, which proceed first from effect to cause and then from that cause to an additional effect. I further (...)
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  22. Kevin McCain and Ted Poston’s Best Explanations.Frank Cabrera - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (2):1-10.
    In this critical notice, I focus my attention on the chapters that deal with the explanationist response to skepticism.
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  23. Does IBE Require a ‘Model’ of Explanation?Frank Cabrera - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):727-750.
    In this article, I consider an important challenge to the popular theory of scientific inference commonly known as ‘inference to the best explanation’, one that has received scant attention.1 1 The problem is that there exists a wide array of rival models of explanation, thus leaving IBE objectionably indeterminate. First, I briefly introduce IBE. Then, I motivate the problem and offer three potential solutions, the most plausible of which is to adopt a kind of pluralism about the rival models of (...)
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  24. Craig on the Resurrection: A Defense.Stephen T. Davis - 2020 - Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 2 (1):28-35.
    This article is a rebuttal to Robert G. Cavin and Carlos A. Colombetti’s article, “Assessing the Resurrection Hypothesis: Problems with Craig’s Inference to the Best Explanation,” which argues that the Standard Model of current particle physics entails that non-physical things (like a supernatural God or a supernaturally resurrected body) can have no causal contact with the physical universe. As such, they argue that William Lane Craig’s resurrection hypothesis is not only incompatible with the notion of Jesus physically appearing to the (...)
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  25. Privileged-Perspective Realism in the Quantum Multiverse.Nora Berenstain - 2020 - In David Glick, George Darby & Anna Marmodoro (eds.), The Foundation of Reality: Fundamentality, Space, and Time. Oxford University Press.
    Privileged-perspective realism (PPR) is a version of metaphysical realism that takes certain irreducibly perspectival facts to be partly constitutive of reality. PPR asserts that there is a single metaphysically privileged standpoint from which these perspectival facts obtain. This chapter discusses several views that fall under the category of privileged-perspective realism. These include presentism, which is PPR about tensed facts, and non-multiverse interpretations of quantum mechanics, which the chapter argues, constitute PPR about world-indexed facts. Using the framework of the bird perspective (...)
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  26. Beyond the Instinct-Inference Dichotomy: A Unified Interpretation of Peirce's Theory of Abduction.Mousa Mohammadian - 2019 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 55 (2):138-160.
    I examine and resolve an exegetical dichotomy between two main interpretations of Peirce’s theory of abduction, namely, the Generative Interpretation and the Pursuitworthiness Interpretation. According to the former, abduction is the instinctive process of generating explanatory hypotheses through a mental faculty called insight. According to the latter, abduction is a rule-governed procedure for determining the relative pursuitworthiness of available hypotheses and adopting the worthiest one for further investigation—such as empirical tests—based on economic considerations. It is shown that the Generative Interpretation (...)
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  27. Praktische Argumentationstheorie. Theoretische Grundlagen, praktische Begründung und Regeln wichtiger Argumentationsarten.Christoph Lumer - 1990 - Braunschweig, Germany: Vieweg.
    Das spezifische Ziel von Argumentationen ist nicht einfach, den Adressaten etwas glauben zu machen - dies wäre bloße Rhetorik ﷓, sondern: den Adressaten beim Erkennen der Akzeptabilität (insbesondere der Wahrheit) der These anzuleiten und ihn so zu begründetem Glauben, zu Erkenntnis zu führen. Argumentationen leiten das Erkennen an, indem sie in ihren Argumenten hinreichende Akzeptabilitätsbedingungen der These als erfüllt beurteilen und so den Adressaten implizit auffordern, diese Bedingungen zu überprüfen. Argumentationen sind gültig, wenn sie prinzipiell das Erkennen anleiten können; d. (...)
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  28. Abduction − the Context of Discovery + Underdetermination = Inference to the Best Explanation.Mousa Mohammadian - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4205-4228.
    The relationship between Peircean abduction and the modern notion of Inference to the Best Explanation is a matter of dispute. Some philosophers, such as Harman :88–95, 1965) and Lipton, claim that abduction and IBE are virtually the same. Others, however, hold that they are quite different :503, 1998; Minnameier in Erkenntnis 60:75–105, 2004) and there is no link between them :419–442, 2009). In this paper, I argue that neither of these views is correct. I show that abduction and IBE have (...)
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  29. Inference to the Best Explanation and the Screening-Off Challenge.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38:121-142.
    We argue in Roche and Sober (2013) that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in that Pr(H | O&EXPL) = Pr(H | O), where H is a hypothesis, O is an observation, and EXPL is the proposition that if H and O were true, then H would explain O. This is a “screening-off” thesis. Here we clarify that thesis, reply to criticisms advanced by Lange (2017), consider alternative formulations of Inference to the Best Explanation, discuss a strengthened screening-off thesis, and consider how (...)
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  30. String Theory, Non-Empirical Theory Assessment, and the Context of Pursuit.Frank Cabrera - 2021 - Synthese 198:3671–3699.
    In this paper, I offer an analysis of the radical disagreement over the adequacy of string theory. The prominence of string theory despite its notorious lack of empirical support is sometimes explained as a troubling case of science gone awry, driven largely by sociological mechanisms such as groupthink (e.g. Smolin 2006). Others, such as Dawid (2013), explain the controversy by positing a methodological revolution of sorts, according to which string theorists have quietly turned to nonempirical methods of theory assessment given (...)
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  31. The Perils of Parsimony.William Roche - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (9):485-505.
    It is widely thought in philosophy and elsewhere that parsimony is a theoretical virtue in that if T1 is more parsimonious than T2, then T1 is preferable to T2, other things being equal. This thesis admits of many distinct precisifications. I focus on a relatively weak precisification on which preferability is a matter of probability, and argue that it is false. This is problematic for various alternative precisifications, and even for Inference to the Best Explanation as standardly understood.
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  32. Assessing Relevance.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Lingua 210:42-64.
    This paper advances an approach to relevance grounded on patterns of material inference called argumentation schemes, which can account for the reconstruction and the evaluation of relevance relations. In order to account for relevance in different types of dialogical contexts, pursuing also non-cognitive goals, and measuring the scalar strength of relevance, communicative acts are conceived as dialogue moves, whose coherence with the previous ones or the context is represented as the conclusion of steps of material inferences. Such inferences are described (...)
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  33. 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 a working hypothesis (...)
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  34. Pragmatic Maxims and Presumptions in Legal Interpretation.Fabrizio Macagno, Douglas Walton & Giovanni Sartor - 2018 - Law and Philosophy 37 (1):69-115.
    The fields of linguistic pragmatics and legal interpretation are deeply interrelated. The purpose of this paper is to show how pragmatics and the developments in argumentation theory can contribute to the debate on legal interpretation. The relation between the pragmatic maxims and the presumptions underlying the legal canons are brought to light, unveiling the principles that underlie the types of argument usually used to justify a construction. The Gricean maxims and the arguments of legal interpretation are regarded as presumptions subject (...)
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  35. Interpretative Disputes, Explicatures, and Argumentative Reasoning.Fabrizio Macagno & Alessandro Capone - 2016 - Argumentation 30 (4):399-422.
    The problem of establishing the best interpretation of a speech act is of fundamental importance in argumentation and communication in general. A party in a dialogue can interpret another’s or his own speech acts in the most convenient ways to achieve his dialogical goals. In defamation law this phenomenon becomes particularly important, as the dialogical effects of a communicative move may result in legal consequences. The purpose of this paper is to combine the instruments provided by argumentation theory with the (...)
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  36. On the Role of Explanatory and Systematic Power in Scientific Reasoning.Peter Brössel - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3877-3913.
    The paper investigates measures of explanatory power and how to define the inference schema “Inference to the Best Explanation”. It argues that these measures can also be used to quantify the systematic power of a hypothesis and the inference schema “Inference to the Best Systematization” is defined. It demonstrates that systematic power is a fruitful criterion for theory choice and IBS is truth-conducive. It also shows that even radical Bayesians must admit that systemic power is an integral component of Bayesian (...)
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  37. Models and Inferences in Science.Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.) - 2016 - Cham: Springer.
    The book answers long-standing questions on scientific modeling and inference across multiple perspectives and disciplines, including logic, mathematics, physics and medicine. The different chapters cover a variety of issues, such as the role models play in scientific practice; the way science shapes our concept of models; ways of modeling the pursuit of scientific knowledge; the relationship between our concept of models and our concept of science. The book also discusses models and scientific explanations; models in the semantic view of theories; (...)
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  38. Explanation and Ontological Reasoning.Dwayne Hudson Mulder - 1997 - Dissertation, Loyola University of Chicago
    Philosophical work on explanation has focused on the following two topics: theories of explanation, intended to enumerate necessary and sufficient conditions for explanation, and inference to the best explanation as the strongest form of justification for ontological or metaphysical claims. I critically examine the most important philosophical work in both of these areas and defend my own conclusions about the connections between explanation and ontology. I argue that all of our inferences about the nature of the world, in ontology or (...)
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  39. Enthymemes, Argumentation Schemes, and Topics.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2009 - Logique Et Analyse 52 (205):39-56.
    This paper argues for a reinterpretation of Aristotle's concept of an enthymeme and also his wider informal logic in terms of arguments that are defeasible. They are represented by forms of argument that are called argumentation schemes, considered to be similar to forms of argument found in deductive logic, but different from the foregoing in virtue of their being defeasible. Indeed, the most interesting schemes have been put forward as a helpful way of characterizing structures of human reasoning that have (...)
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  40. Science and Ethics: Tracing Parallels and Contrasts Between Science, Relativism and Utilitarianism.Louis Caruana - 2006 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 62 (1):119-136.
    In its first section, dedicated to the topic science and relativism, the article argues against those who hold that science is absolutist while ethics is relativist. The point made is that the two disciplines are not all that different. There is an element of objectivity and an element of relativity in both. The article insists that there are two plausible ways in which these elements may be appreciated in both disciplines. The first way involves an analysis of precedents; the second (...)
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  41. Empirical Equivalence, Explanatory Force, and the Inference to the Best Theory.Igor Douven - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):281-309.
    In this paper I discuss the rule of inference proposed by Kuipers under the name of Inference to the Best Theory. In particular, I argue that the rule needs to be strengthened if it is to serve realist purposes. I further describe a method for testing, and perhaps eventually justifying, a suitably strengthened version of it.
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  42. Comprehensibility Rather Than Beauty.Nicholas Maxwell - 2001 - PhilSci Archive.
    Most scientists and philosophers of science recognize that, when it comes to accepting and rejecting theories in science, considerations that have to do with simplicity, unity, symmetry, elegance, beauty or explanatory power have an important role to play, in addition to empirical considerations. Until recently, however, no one has been able to give a satisfactory account of what simplicity (etc.) is, or how giving preference to simple theories is to be justified. But in the last few years, two different but (...)
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Inference to the Best Explanation, Misc
  1. The Costs of HARKing.Mark Rubin - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):535-560.
    Kerr coined the term ‘HARKing’ to refer to the practice of ‘hypothesizing after the results are known’. This questionable research practice has received increased attention in recent years because it is thought to have contributed to low replication rates in science. The present article discusses the concept of HARKing from a philosophical standpoint and then undertakes a critical review of Kerr’s twelve potential costs of HARKing. It is argued that these potential costs are either misconceived, misattributed to HARKing, lacking evidence, (...)
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  2. Resolving the Raven Paradox: Simple Random Sampling, Stratified Random Sampling, and Inference to Best Explanation.Barry Ward - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):360-377.
    Simple random sampling resolutions of the raven paradox relevantly diverge from scientific practice. We develop a stratified random sampling model, yielding a better fit and apparently rehabilitating simple random sampling as a legitimate idealization. However, neither accommodates a second concern, the objection from potential bias. We develop a third model that crucially invokes causal considerations, yielding a novel resolution that handles both concerns. This approach resembles Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) and relates the generalization’s confirmation to confirmation of an (...)
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  3. Philosophical Reasoning About Science: A Quantitative, Digital Study.Moti Mizrahi & Michael Adam Dickinson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    In this paper, we set out to investigate the following question: if science relies heavily on induction, does philosophy of science rely heavily on induction as well? Using data mining and text analysis methods, we study a large corpus of philosophical texts mined from the JSTOR database (n = 14,199) in order to answer this question empirically. If philosophy of science relies heavily on induction, just as science supposedly does, then we would expect to find significantly more inductive arguments than (...)
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  4. Presuppositions as Cancellable Inferences.Fabrizio Macagno - 2016 - In Keith Allan, Alessandro Capone & Istvan Kecskes (eds.), Pragmemes and Theories of Language Use. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 45-68.
    The phenomenon of presupposition suspension can be analyzed in terms of explicatures and the corresponding non-presumptive interpretative reasoning underlying it. On the view presented in this paper, the polyphonic articulation of an utterance at different levels can be used to explain cases in which presuppositions are suspended. Presuppositional suspensions indicate that the presumptive reading does not hold and a different interpretation is needed. Utterances can display various types of polyphonic structures, accounting for the speaker’s and the hearer’s commitments. A speaker (...)
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  5. "Because" Without "Cause": The Uses and Limits of Non-Causal Explanation.Jonathan Birch - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
    In this BA dissertation, I deploy examples of non-causal explanations of physical phenomena as evidence against the view that causal models of explanation can fully account for explanatory practices in science. I begin by discussing the problems faced by Hempel’s models and the causal models built to replace them. I then offer three everyday examples of non-causal explanation, citing sticks, pilots and apples. I suggest a general form for such explanations, under which they can be phrased as inductive-statistical arguments incorporating (...)
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  6. Mathematics and Explanatory Generality: Nothing but Cognitive Salience.Juha Saatsi & Robert Knowles - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1119-1137.
    We demonstrate how real progress can be made in the debate surrounding the enhanced indispensability argument. Drawing on a counterfactual theory of explanation, well-motivated independently of the debate, we provide a novel analysis of ‘explanatory generality’ and how mathematics is involved in its procurement. On our analysis, mathematics’ sole explanatory contribution to the procurement of explanatory generality is to make counterfactual information about physical dependencies easier to grasp and reason with for creatures like us. This gives precise content to key (...)
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  7. On the Pragmatic and Epistemic Virtues of Inference to the Best Explanation.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12407-12438.
    In a series of papers over the past twenty years, and in a new book, Igor Douven has argued that Bayesians are too quick to reject versions of inference to the best explanation that cannot be accommodated within their framework. In this paper, I survey their worries and attempt to answer them using a series of pragmatic and purely epistemic arguments that I take to show that Bayes’ Rule really is the only rational way to respond to your evidence.
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  8. Explanatory Consolidation: From ‘Best’ to ‘Good Enough’.Finnur Dellsén - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):157-177.
    In science and everyday life, we often infer that something is true because it would explain some set of facts better than any other hypothesis we can think of. But what if we have reason to believe that there is a better way to explain these facts that we just haven't thought of? Wouldn't that undermine our warrant for believing the best available explanation? Many philosophers have assumed that we can solve such underconsideration problems by stipulating that a hypothesis should (...)
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