Reactionary Responses to the Bad Lot Objection

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Title: Reactionary Responses to the Bad Lot Objection
Authors: Dellsén, Finnur
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Date: Feb-2017
Abstract: As it is standardly conceived, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is a form of ampliative inference in which one infers a hypothesis because it provides a better potential explanation of one’s evidence than any other available, competing explanatory hypothesis. Bas van Fraassen famously objected to IBE thus formulated that we may have no reason to think that any of the available, competing explanatory hypotheses are true. While revisionary responses to the Bad Lot Objection concede that IBE needs to be reformulated in light of this problem, reactionary responses argue that the Bad Lot Objection is fallacious, incoherent, or misguided. This paper shows that the most influential reactionary responses to the Bad Lot Objection do nothing to undermine the original objection. This strongly suggests that proponents of IBE should focus their efforts on revisionary responses, i.e. on finding a more sophisticated characterization of IBE for which the Bad Lot Objection loses its bite.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Keywords: Inference to the Best ExplanationUnderconsiderationRanking of theoriesInductive cogencyBad Lot Objection
DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2017.01.005
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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