Astrophysicist Abraham Loeb suggests that the interstellar interloper 1I/2017 ‘Oumuamua, detected in our solar system in 2017, is alien space debris or even an alien operational probe (Bialy and Loeb 2018; Sheerin & Loeb 2020). Does this conjecture have significant epistemic support, such that it can be justified as a viable hypothesis? In this paper, I propose that the meta-empirical confirmation approach, developed and defended by philosopher and physicist Dawid (2006, 2013, 2018, 2019), provides an appropriate framework to answer this question. I defend this proposal by elucidating how meta-empirical confirmation applies to the ‘Oumuamua case and what specific meta-empirical arguments could support Loeb’s hypothesis. Even though Loeb would not himself endorse meta-empirical confirmation, because it is not traditional empiricism, this case shows that meta-empirical confirmation is not in fact a threat to empiricism.
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