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Reactionary Responses to the Bad Lot Objection

Dellsén, Finnur (2017) Reactionary Responses to the Bad Lot Objection. [Preprint]

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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.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dellsén, Finnurfinnurd@gmail.com0000-0003-4989-4204
Additional Information: Published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.
Keywords: inference to the best explanation; the bad lot objection; underconsideration; ranking of theories; inductive cogency
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Depositing User: Dr. Finnur Dellsén
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 00:20
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2019 00:20
Item ID: 15536
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2017.01.005
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Date: 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15536

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