Conjunctive Explanations and Inference to the Best Explanation

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) advises reasoners to infer exactly one explanation. This uniqueness claim apparently binds us when it comes to “conjunctive explanations,” distinct explanations that are nonetheless explanatorily better together than apart. To confront this worry, explanationists qualify their statement of IBE, stipulating that this inference form only adjudicates between competing hypotheses. However, a closer look into the nature of competition reveals problems for this qualified account. Given the most common explication of competition, this qualification artificially and radically constrains IBE’s domain of applicability. Using a more subtle, recent explication of competition, this qualification no longer provides a compelling treatment of conjunctive explanations. In light of these results, I suggest a different strategy for accommodating conjunctive explanations. Instead of modifying the form of IBE, I suggest a new way of thinking about the structure of IBE’s lot of considered hypotheses.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
SCHCEA-19
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-02-05
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2019-02-05

Total downloads
18 ( #34,382 of 37,111 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #18,315 of 37,111 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.