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  1. Calling for Explanation.Dan Baras - 2022 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    The idea that there are some facts that call for explanation serves as an unexamined premise in influential arguments for the inexistence of moral or mathematical facts and for the existence of a god and of other universes. This book is the first to offer a comprehensive and critical treatment of this idea. It argues that calling for explanation is a sometimes-misleading figure of speech rather than a fundamental property of facts.
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  • 哲学の一般的方法としての「最良の説明への推論」.Ryo Ogawa - 2022 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 55 (1):1-1.
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  • Simplicity as a Cue to Probability: Multiple Roles for Simplicity in Evaluating Explanations.Thalia H. Vrantsidis & Tania Lombrozo - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (7):e13169.
    Cognitive Science, Volume 46, Issue 7, July 2022.
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  • Towards a Synthesis of Two Research Programmes: Inference to the Best Explanation and Models of Scientific Explanation.Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    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 (...)
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  • 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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  • Putting explanation back into “inference to the best explanation”.Marc Lange - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):84-109.
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  • Reasonable Doubt from Unconceived Alternatives.Hylke Jellema - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    In criminal trials, judges or jurors have to decide whether the facts described in the indictment are proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, these decision-makers cannot always imagine every relevant sequence of events—there may be unconceived alternatives. The possibility of unconceived alternatives is an overlooked source of reasonable doubt. I argue that decision-makers should not consider the defendant’s guilt proven if they have good reasons to believe that plausible, unconceived scenarios exist. I explore this thesis through the lens of the (...)
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  • Eyewitness evaluation through inference to the best explanation.Hylke Jellema - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-29.
    Eyewitness testimony is both an important and a notoriously unreliable type of criminal evidence. How should investigators, lawyers and decision-makers evaluate eyewitness reliability? In this article, I argue that Testimonial Inference to the Best Explanation is a promising, but underdeveloped prescriptive account of eyewitness evaluation. On this account, we assess the reliability of eyewitnesses by comparing different explanations of how their testimony came about. This account is compatible with, and complementary to both the Bayesian framework of rational eyewitness evaluation and (...)
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  • Reactionary responses to the Bad Lot Objection.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 61:32-40.
    As it is standardly conceived, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is a form of ampliative inference in which one infers a hypothesis because it provides a better potential explanation of one’s evidence than any other available, competing explanatory hypothesis. Bas van Fraassen famously objected to IBE thus formulated that we may have no reason to think that any of the available, competing explanatory hypotheses are true. While revisionary responses to the Bad Lot Objection concede that IBE needs to be (...)
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  • Humean laws, explanatory circularity, and the aim of scientific explanation.Chris Dorst - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2657-2679.
    One of the main challenges confronting Humean accounts of natural law is that Humean laws appear to be unable to play the explanatory role of laws in scientific practice. The worry is roughly that if the laws are just regularities in the particular matters of fact (as the Humean would have it), then they cannot also explain the particular matters of fact, on pain of circularity. Loewer (2012) has defended Humeanism, arguing that this worry only arises if we fail to (...)
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  • The epistemic impact of theorizing: generation bias implies evaluation bias.Finnur Dellsén - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3661-3678.
    It is often argued that while biases routinely influence the generation of scientific theories, a subsequent rational evaluation of such theories will ensure that biases do not affect which theories are ultimately accepted. Against this line of thought, this paper shows that the existence of certain kinds of biases at the generation-stage implies the existence of biases at the evaluation-stage. The key argumentative move is to recognize that a scientist who comes up with a new theory about some phenomena has (...)
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  • 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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  • Scientific Conclusions Need Not Be Accurate, Justified, or Believed by their Authors.Haixin Dang & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - Synthese 199:8187–8203.
    We argue that the main results of scientific papers may appropriately be published even if they are false, unjustified, and not believed to be true or justified by their author. To defend this claim we draw upon the literature studying the norms of assertion, and consider how they would apply if one attempted to hold claims made in scientific papers to their strictures, as assertions and discovery claims in scientific papers seem naturally analogous. We first use a case study of (...)
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  • Causal Inference as Inference to the Best Explanation.Barry Ward - manuscript
    We argue that a modified version of Mill’s method of agreement can strongly confirm causal generalizations. This mode of causal inference implicates the explanatory virtues of mechanism, analogy, consilience, and simplicity, and we identify it as a species of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE). Since rational causal inference provides normative guidance, IBE is not a heuristic for Bayesian rationality. We give it an objective Bayesian formalization, one that has no need of principles of indifference and yields responses to the (...)
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  • Understanding Delusions: Evidence, Reason, and Experience.Chenwei Nie - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    This thesis develops a novel framework for explaining delusions. In Chapter 1, I introduce the two fundamental challenges posed by delusions: the evidence challenge lies in explaining the flagrant ways delusions flout evidence; and the specificity challenge lies in explaining the fact that patients’ delusions are often about a few specific themes, and patients rarely have a wide range of delusional or odd beliefs. In Chapter 2, I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of current theories of delusions, which typically appeal (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation - An Overview.Frank Cabrera - 2022 - In Lorenzo Magnani (ed.), Handbook of Abductive Cognition. Cham: Springer. pp. 1-34.
    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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  • Abduction.Igorn D. Douven - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Most philosophers agree that abduction (in the sense of Inference to the Best Explanation) is a type of inference that is frequently employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific reasoning. However, the exact form as well as the normative status of abduction are still matters of controversy. This entry contrasts abduction with other types of inference; points at prominent uses of it, both in and outside philosophy; considers various more or less precise statements of it; (...)
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  • 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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