Leitung: Prof. Dr. Stephan Hartmann, Prof. Dr. Jan Sprenger
Institution: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Tilburg University

Explanatory reasoning is not only central to ordinary reasoning, but also a cornerstone of scientific rationality. But what is proper explanatory reasoning? What are the standards for it? When are explanatory inferences, such as an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) justified, and how do they help us to achieve true beliefs? Our project answers these questions by providing a normatively interesting and psychologically realistic account of explanatory reasoning in which the power of different explanations can be compared meaningfully. This endeavor combines a naturalistic approach (case studies, interviews, experiments) and a normative, a priori approach (conceptual analysis, formal modeling in a Bayesian framework). We develop and assess measures of explanatory power, and underpin classical forms of explanatory reasoning, such as IBE, by formalizing non-standard explanatory arguments, such as the No-Alternatives-Argument. By combining various methodologies, the proposed project does not only fully address an important problem in the philosophy of science, it is also highly innovative methodologically and we expect it to have major impact on future work in philosophy of science and related disciplines.

Projektrelevante Veröffentlichungen
Dawid, R., Hartmann, S., & Sprenger, J. (2014). The no alternatives argument. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 66(1): 213-234.
Hartmann, S., & Sprenger, J. (2012). Judgment aggregation and the problem of tracking the truth. Synthese, 187(1), 209-221.
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