Lecture notes, 10-18-10

Lecture notes, - Logic notes An inference to the best explanation(IBE can be strong weak or anywhere in between it is not an all-or-none affair

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Logic notes, 10-18-10 An inference to the best explanation (IBE) can be strong, weak, or anywhere in between; it is not an all-or-none affair. Contrast this with deductive arguments, which are either valid or not. The surprise principle is used to compare hypotheses in an inference to the best explanation. Say we have two hypotheses, H 1 and H 2 . We ask two questions: (1) How surprising is H 1 on the observation?; (2) How surprising is H 2 on the observation? The best explanation is the hypothesis which is least surprising. If the observation cannot determine which of H1 and H2 is best, then H1 and H2 are predictively equivalent. The best game in town fallacy : Accepting the best hypothesis of the group when that hypothesis is not very good. Just because it is the best of the group does not mean it is actually good and worthy of acceptance. Compare: A big fish in a small pond is not always that big ; it may just be big relative to the others in the pond. IBE can postulate unobservables and induction can’t.
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course PHIL 1200 taught by Professor Davey during the Fall '08 term at Missouri (Mizzou).

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Lecture notes, - Logic notes An inference to the best explanation(IBE can be strong weak or anywhere in between it is not an all-or-none affair

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