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Inference, explanation, and asymmetry

  • Kareem Khalifa
  • Jared MillsonEmail author
  • Mark Risjord
S.I.: Inferentialism


Explanation is asymmetric: if A explains B, then B does not explain A. Traditionally, the asymmetry of explanation was thought to favor causal accounts of explanation over their rivals, such as those that take explanations to be inferences. In this paper, we develop a new inferential approach to explanation that outperforms causal approaches in accounting for the asymmetry of explanation.


Explanation Inference Symmetry problem 


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Conflicts of interest

The author declares no potential conflicts of interests with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article. The author received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middlebury CollegeMiddleburyUSA
  2. 2.Agnes Scott CollegeDecaturUSA
  3. 3.Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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