Inference to the best explanation in science

  • David Walker

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This thesis defends inference to the best explanation (IBE) by giving an account of explanatory 'loveliness' in science. I begin by presenting IBE in generic form and showing how it out-performs rival accounts of induction. I then trace a path through the early literature which emphasises the role of background belief in determining loveliness. I then introduce crucial features of Lipton's account of IBE. I argue that Lipton's remarks on loveliness, through minimal, support the background-dependent view and that, appropriately construed, the view does not trivialise IBE.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish

Cite this