Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures

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Gregor Betz
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This article discusses how inference to the best explanation (IBE) can be justified as a practical meta-argument. It is, firstly, justified as a *practical* argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in--and relative to--a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one's position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a *meta*-argument. My analysis thus bears a certain analogy to Sellars' well-known justification of inductive reasoning (Sellars 1969); it is based on recently developed theories of complex argumentation (Betz 2010, 2011).

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