Inferring and Explaining

by Jeffery Johnson

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Book Description

Inferring and Explaining is a book in practical epistemology. It examines the notion of evidence and assumes that good evidence is the essence of rational thinking. Evidence is the cornerstone of the natural, social, and behavioral sciences. But it is equally central to almost all academic pursuits and, perhaps most importantly, to the basic need to live an intelligent and reflective life.

The book further assumes that a particular model of evidence - Inference to the Best Explanation - not only captures the essence of (good) evidence but suggests a very practical, and pedagogically useful, procedure for evidence evaluation. The book is intended primarily for two sorts of introductory courses. First and foremost are courses in critical thinking (or informal or practical logic). In addition, however, the book has application in more general courses (or major sections of courses) in introductory philosophy.

This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY). You can download Inferring and Explaining ebook for free in PDF format (4.4 MB).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Valuing Truth
12
Chapter 2
Skepticism
20
Chapter 3
The Concept of Knowledge
28
Chapter 4
Arguments
36
Chapter 5
Inference to the Best Explanation
48
Chapter 6
New Data and Experimentation
60
Chapter 7
Semmelweis and Childbed Fever: A Case Study
68
Chapter 8
Darwin and Common Descent
78
Chapter 9
Testimony
90
Chapter 10
Textual Interpretation
98
Chapter 11
Statistics: Making Sense of the Numbers
106
Chapter 12
Correlations and Causes
118
Chapter 13
Capital Punishment and the Constitution
128
Chapter 14
Evidence, Explanation, and Narrative
142
Chapter 15
Explanatory Virtue and Truth
154

Book Details

Publisher
Portland State University Library
Published
2019
Pages
164
Edition
1
Language
English
PDF Size
4.4 MB
License
CC BY

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