Abductive Argument

  • A theory is probably true because the theory is the best that exists for the conclusion
  • Compared to the alternatives the argument is best
  • Many philosophers think scientific theories are commonly supposed by abduction
  • Does not positively verify the conclusion
  • Famous scientific examples
  • "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." ~ Sherlock Holmes

Inference to the Best Explanation

  • We conclude best available explanation of an observation is probably true
  • It's the best available explanation, so it is true
  • Simple IBE
    • If X is the only explanation we have for Y, then X is likely true
  • Comparative IBE
    • If X is more probable than any other explanation for Y, then X is likely true

Philosophy Argument