McCoy, C.D. (2018) Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

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.

Download Open Access PDF doi: 10.1093/bjps/axy014


McCoy, C.D. (2017) The implementation, interpretation and justification of likelihoods in cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.

I discuss the formal implementation, interpretation, and justification of likelihood attributions in cosmology. I show that likelihood arguments in cosmology suffer from significant conceptual and formal problems that undermine their applicability in this context.

Download Open Access PDF doi: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2017.05.002