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Two Tokens of the Inference to the Best Explanation: No-Miracle Argument and the Selectionist Explanation
In this paper, I evaluate van Fraassen’s critique of the Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) by focusing mainly on his argument of bad lot. First, I argue that his attack is about the reliability of IBE as a rule of inference. Secondly, I evaluate the most famous realist IBE in the philosophy of science literature, namely the No-Miracle Argument (NMA). I stick to Mark Newman’s attack to realist NMA and admit his claim that NMA is viciously circular. Thirdly, I introduce the anti-realist alternative to the NMA, which is argued by van Fraassen, namely the Selectionist Explanation. Ultimately, I claim that, even though van Fraassen finds IBE wanting, SA has a form of IBE and thus it is a token of IBE as well.<

Scientific realism, anti-realism, theoretical entities, observables, empirical adequacy.

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