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Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument

Dellsén, Finnur (2015) Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument. [Preprint]

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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.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dellsén, Finnurfinnurd@gmail.com0000-0003-4989-4204
Additional Information: Published in Theoria.
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Finnur Dellsén
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 00:26
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2019 00:26
Item ID: 15542
Official URL: https://philpapers.org/archive/DELERA-3.pdf
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1111/theo.12084
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2015
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15542

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