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Abstract


Abduction, Inference to the Best Explanation and Epistemic Rationality
The terms abduction and inference to the best explanation are often referred to as the same type of reasoning. However, it has recently been claimed that this was a mistake. While the abductive inference proposed by Peirce is about generating a new idea in the face of unexpected observations, inference to the best explanation is about determining which hypothesis is the most plausible. In this study, the difference between the two types of inference will be shown through epistemic rationality. In terms of epistemic rationality, a strong relationship between evidence and belief is necessary. From this point of view, the evidential support of abductive inference is weak, but it thus has the opportunity to expand beyond its evidence and create hypotheses. Inference to the best explanation, cannot be justified without strong evidential support.

Keywords
Abduction, hypothesis, the inference to the best explanation, evidential support, rationality.


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