Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1003-1028 (2019)
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Abstract

I present a recent historical case from cosmology—the story of inflationary cosmology—and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems is a reliable method for making progress in science. In particular, I claim that the success of inflationary theory at solving its predecessor’s explanatory problems justified the theory epistemically, even in advance of the development of novel predictions from the theory and the later confirmation of those predictions.

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C. D. McCoy
Yonsei University

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