Explanation pp 93-120 | Cite as

Is Explanation a Guide to Inference? A Reply to Wesley C. Salmon

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 302)


Earlier in this volume, Wesley Salmon has given a characteristically clear and trenchant critique of the account of non-demonstrative reasoning known by the slogan ‘Inference to the Best Explanation’. As a long-time fan of the idea that explanatory considerations are a guide to inference, I was delighted by the suggestion that Wes and I might work together on a discussion of the issues. In the event, this project has exceeded my high expectations, for in addition to the intellectual gain that comes from the careful study of his essay, I have benefited enormously from the stream of illuminating emails and faxes that Wes has sent me during our collaboration. Doing philosophy together has been an education and a pleasure.


Posterior Probability Prior Probability Good Explanation Actual Explanation Childbed Fever 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

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