Inference to the Best Explanation and van Fraassen’s Contextual Theory of Explanation: Reply to Park

Axiomathes 32 (2):355-365 (2021)
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Seungbae Park argues that Bas van Fraassen’s rejection of inference to the best explanation (IBE) is problematic for his contextual theory of explanation because van Fraassen uses IBE to support the contextual theory. This paper provides a defense of van Fraassen’s views from Park’s objections. I point out three weaknesses of Park’s objection against van Fraassen. First, van Fraassen may be perfectly content to accept the implications that Park claims to follow from his views. Second, even if van Fraassen rejects IBE he may still endorse particular arguments that instantiate IBE. Third, van Fraassen does not, in fact, use IBE to support his contextual theory.

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Yunus Prasetya
Yale-NUS College


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