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Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Presents

Kareem Khalifa, "Dispensing with Explanatory Inference"

10/4/19, 3:35 PM

About this event

Dispensing with Explanatory Inference

Kareem Khalifa
Department of Philosophy, Middlebury College

Abstract: Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is the pattern of inference according to which evidence inductively warrants its best explanation (i.e. the explanation providing the optimal balance of theoretical virtues such as simplicity, scope, and conservatism). We argue that IBE is dispensable, as any cogent instance of IBE is also a cogent instance of a more parsimonious pattern of inference we call counterfactual modus tollens (CMT): had p not been the case, q would not have been the case; q; therefore, p. Time permitting, we also show how CMT plus Gricean pragmatics accounts for explanations’ core features.

This public lecture is free, no registration is required.
Contact: Janet McKernan mcps@umn.edu 612-625-6635
Event Location
  • 101 Tate Hall
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA - United States