Inference to the Best Explanation and the Importance of Peculiarly Explanatory Virtues

Publication Year:
2012
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9278
Author(s):
Harker, David
conference paper description
Inference to the best explanation has at times appeared almost indistinguishable from a rule that recommends simply that we should infer the hypothesis which is most plausible given available evidence. In this paper I argue that avoiding this collapse requires the identification of peculiarly explanatory virtues and consider Woodward's concept of invariance as an example of such a virtue. An additional benefit of augmenting IBE with Woodward's model of causal explanation is also suggested.