Epistemic Justification and Luck in Inflationary Cosmology

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Date
2016
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Abstract
I present a recent historical case from cosmology—the story of inflationary cosmology—and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems is a reliable method for making progress in science. In particular, I claim that the success of inflationary theory at solving its predecessor’s explanatory problems justified the theory epistemically, even in advance of the development of novel predictions from the theory and the later confirmation of those predictions. 1 Introduction 2 A Portrait of the Argument as a Short Précis 3 A Brief History of Inflationary Theory 4 Empiricist Interpretations of Inflationary Case 5 A Confutation of Empiricist Interpretations 6 Explanationist Interpretation of Inflationary Case 7 Concluding Remarks
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contemporary, justification, physics, cosmology
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DOI
10.1093/bjps/axy014
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Downstream publication: McCoy, Casey. (2018) "Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology," The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 70(4), 1003-1028.
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