On the pragmatic and epistemic virtues of inference to the best explanation

Synthese 199 (5-6):12407-12438 (2021)
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Abstract

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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Richard Pettigrew
Bristol University

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