Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument
|Title:||Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument||Authors:||Dellsén, Finnur||Permanent link:||http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8175||Date:||Sep-2016||Abstract:||Although many aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) have been extensively discussed, very little has so far been said about what it takes for a hypothesis to count as a rival explanatory hypothesis in the context of IBE. The primary aim of this article is to rectify this situation by arguing for a specific account of explanatory rivalry. On this account, explanatory rivals are (roughly speaking) complete explanations of a given explanandum. When explanatory rivals are conceived of in this way, I argue that IBE is a more plausible and defensible rule of inference than it would otherwise be. The secondary aim of the article is to demonstrate the importance of accounts of explanatory rivalry by examining a prominent philosophical argument in which IBE is employed, viz. the so-called Ultimate Argument for scientific realism. In short, I argue that a well-known objection to the Ultimate Argument due to Arthur Fine fails in virtue of tacitly assuming an account of explanatory rivalry that we have independent reasons to reject.||Type of material:||Journal Article||Publisher:||Wiley||Copyright (published version):||2015 Stiftelsen Theoria||Keywords:||Inference to the Best Explanation;Scientific realism;Explanatory rivals||DOI:||10.1111/theo.12084||Language:||en||Status of Item:||Peer reviewed|
|Appears in Collections:||Philosophy Research Collection|
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