“Inference to the Best Explanation, Cleaned Up and Made Respectable”
by Jonah Schupbach (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh), Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Utah
Location: Lory Student Center 214-216
Free and open to the public
ABSTRACT: Despite decades of focused philosophical investigation, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) remains without a clear articulation and compelling defense. The primary reason for this is that it is not at all clear what it means for a hypothesis to be the best available explanation of the evidence. This paper first seeks to rectify this problem by developing a formal explication of the concept of explanatory power. The resulting account of IBE is then evaluated as a form of uncertain inference. Overall, this paper offers a precise account and novel defense of IBE.