Inference to the Best Explanation and the Screening-Off Challenge

Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38:121-142 (2019)
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We argue in Roche and Sober (2013) that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in that Pr(H | O&EXPL) = Pr(H | O), where H is a hypothesis, O is an observation, and EXPL is the proposition that if H and O were true, then H would explain O. This is a “screening-off” thesis. Here we clarify that thesis, reply to criticisms advanced by Lange (2017), consider alternative formulations of Inference to the Best Explanation, discuss a strengthened screening-off thesis, and consider how it bears on the claim that unification is evidentially relevant.

Author Profiles

William Roche
Texas Christian University
Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison


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