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There are two important philosophical research programmes on explanation in the twentieth century—the search for an account or model of scientific explanation, and the defence of inference to the best explanation as a rational form of inference. These two research programmes have largely developed independently from one another. This paper argues that bringing the two research programmes in contact promises to yield fruitful discussion. I consider and reject two arguments for keeping the two research programmes separate. I outline several issues (...) 

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 deductivenomologicalprobabilistic model, Wesley Salmon’s statisticalrelevance Model, and Bas van (...) 

Recent discussions of how axioms are extrinsically justified have appealed to abductive considerations: on such accounts, axioms are adopted on the basis that they constitute the best explanation of some mathematical data, or phenomena. In the first part of this paper, I set out a potential problem caused by the appeal made to the notion of mathematical explanation and suggest that it can be remedied once it is noted that all the justificatory work is done by appeal to the theoretical (...) 