Is the Bad Lot Objection Just Misguided?
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In this paper, I argue that van Fraassen’s “bad lot objection” against Inference to the Best Explanation [IBE] severely misses its mark. First, I show that the objection holds no special relevance to IBE; if the bad lot objection poses a serious problem for IBE, then it poses a serious problem for any inference form whatever. Second, I argue that, thankfully, it does not pose a serious threat to any inference form. Rather, the objection misguidedly blames a form of inference for not achieving what it never set out to achieve in the first place.
KeywordsGood Explanation Material Content Material Defect Explanatory Hypothesis Inference Form
Special thanks to David Danks, John Earman, Edouard Machery, and Anya Plutynski for helpful conversation and criticism pertaining to this paper.
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