Scepticism about inference to the best explanation

Ruth Weintraub*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Scepticism about inference to the best explanation is far less often discussed than scepticism about another ampliative form of inference, enumerative induction. Both of these inference forms are widely used, and scepticism about either can pose an important challenge. This chapter aims to redress the imbalance by giving scepticism about inference to the best explanation the attention it, too, deserves. The chapter’s conclusion is that inference to the best explanation, even to the observable, may be in a worse epistemic position than enumerative induction. The reason for this is that there are sceptical arguments that target inference to the best explanation which do not have inductive analogues, but the converse is not true.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBest Explanations
Subtitle of host publicationNew Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780198746904
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Enumerative induction
  • Epistemology
  • Induction
  • Inference to the best explanation
  • Scepticism


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