2.Scientific Knowledge is produced by successful scientific explanations. Critically evaluate this claim in relation to the Semmelweiss case
In this essay, you should outline and refer to the key difference between logical accounts of scientific knowledge and IBE. On logical accounts of scientific explanations – explanation comes to the scene after an inference is made (either inductive or deductive). According to IBE, a comparative analysis of competing potential explanations is required before an inference can be made. In the outset of the essay, you should take care to reference both Hempel and Lipton.
In your essay, you should also outline your understanding of the Semmelweiss case. Take care to study and examine the relationship between explanation and inference in the case study. Secondly, you should also think about how Semmelweiss is justified in believing that he has produced a “successful” scientific explanation.
Finally, you need to do some critical analysis – is Semmelweiss successful or did he just make his best guess? Are there different ways we could interpret this historical case? Can we generalise from this case? Is the relationship between explanation and inference best described as abductive inference (IBE). You should not try to answer all of these questions. But, giving a sustained answer to one will allow you to focus on making your own argument.
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