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Metaphysics and the Philosophy of ScienceNew Essays$
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Matthew Slater and Zanja Yudell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199363209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199363209.001.0001

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Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics

Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics

Chapter:
(p.163) 8 Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics
Source:
Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science
Author(s):

Juha Saatsi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199363209.003.0009

This chapter examines the status of inference to the best explanation in naturalistic metaphysics. The methodology of inference to the best explanation in metaphysics is studied from the perspective of contemporary views on scientific explanation and explanatory inferences in the history and philosophy of science. This reveals serious shortcomings in prevalent attempts to vindicate metaphysical “explanationism” by reference to similarities between science and naturalistic metaphysics. This critique is brought out by considering a common gambit of methodological unity: (1) Both metaphysics and science employ inference to the best explanation. (2) One has no reason to think that if explanationism is truth-conducive in science, it is not so in metaphysics. (3) One has a positive reason to think that if explanationism is truth-conducive in science, it is also so in metaphysics.

Keywords:   scientific explanation, inference to the best explanation, naturalistic metaphysics, explanationism, unification

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