Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology

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McCoy, C.D.
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preprint description
I present a recent historical case from cosmology---the story of inflationary cosmology---and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems can be 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.