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Testing Inference to the Best Explanation

Igor Douven
Synthese
Vol. 130, No. 3 (Mar., 2002), pp. 355-377
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20117222
Page Count: 23
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Abstract

Inference to the Best Explanation has become the subject of a lively debate in the philosophy of science. Scientific realists maintain, while scientific antirealists deny, that it is a compelling rule of inference. It seems that any attempt to settle this debate empirically must beg the question against the antirealist. The present paper argues that this impression is misleading. A method is described that, by combining Glymour's theory of bootstrapping and Hacking's arguments from microscopy, allows us to test IBE without begging any antirealist issues.

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