Do we have knowledge of the external world?

Save this PDF as:
 WORD  PNG  TXT  JPG

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Do we have knowledge of the external world?"

Transcription

1 Do we have knowledge of the external world? This book discusses the skeptical arguments presented in Descartes' Meditations 1 and 2, as well as how Descartes attempts to refute skepticism by building our knowledge of the external world on the firm footing of clear and distinct ideas. David Hume's "Problem of Induction" shows a serious problem for Foundationalism. Dr. Gina Calderone Table of Contents Descartes' Method of Doubt o I think, therefore I am. o Plato's Allegory of the Cave o Does the mind create reality? Cartesian Foundationalism Our Epistemic Situation The Edifice of Knowledge The Cartesian Circle Problem of Induction o Hume's Argument o How Might Any Claim Be Justified? o Are Causal Laws Justified? o Is PUN Justified? o Problem of Induction Chart Descartes' Method of Doubt Read Descartes' Meditations 1 and 2. For an online copy of the entire text of Meditations on First Philosophy, click here. Seeing something like a table is generally taken to be good reason for thinking that the table exists. Moreover, the information contained in perception is generally taken to be good reason for asserting truths about the table itself that it is flat, rectangular, and brown, for example. But how can we be sure that the table is actually there in the first place? Descartes observes that we know ourselves capable of dreams, some of which seem to be quite real, peopled with familiar objects like tables and chairs and acquaintances and strangers and all kinds of action. In short, in dreams it seems like we are doing things and seeing things but we re not. Since, at least while you re dreaming, you can t always tell it s a dream, how can you know you aren t dreaming now?

2 An analogous problem arises when we think about claims we feel very certain about--those that, as Descartes puts it, are "clear and distinct": that triangles have 3 sides, for example, and 2+2=4. Is the kind of subjective certainty we feel any indication of the truth of these propositions? One would think so, but Descartes considers the possibility that he was created by an evil genius bent on deceiving him about absolutely everything. If so, one might be utterly unable to imagine a triangle that does not have 3 sides but the power of this evil genius is such that we are nevertheless deceived that is, in spite of the impossibility of imagining one, there are triangles with, say, no sides. Since there's no way to tell that we weren't created by this evil genius, we have no guarantee that, in spite of the impossibility of imagining otherwise, 2+2 is actually 4. These two arguments seem to cast doubt on all of our a posteriori beliefs (those we know on the basis of experience are called into question by the dream argument ), and even our a priori beliefs (those we know on the basis of reflection alone are called into question by the evil deceiver argument ). Now, if knowledge requires that we cannot be mistaken about what we believe, and these arguments show that we can always be mistaken about what we believe, then we have no knowledge whatsoever. The idea that we have no knowledge whatsoever is known as philosophical skepticism. I think, therefore I am. In Meditation 2, Descartes ponders the possibility that he can now doubt even his own existence. Perhaps he is dreaming or under the influence of an evil deceiver, in which case. Right. In order to be dreaming or under the influence of an evil deceiver, you must exist. Hence, Descartes concludes, cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I exist). That is, as long as one is thinking, the thinking is itself proof of your own existence; for there is no story you can tell such that you come to believe (or doubt) the proposition I exist, where according to the story the proposition is false. Of course, knowing that you exist is a far cry from the knowledge we think we have about all kinds of other things, likes tables and triangles and other people. Descartes argument so far gets one no further than solipsism the possibility that you are the only thing that exists. Worse, it gets you no further than the existence of your mind alone, since the existence of your hand indeed, your entire body can be called into question by the evil deceiver argument; so this knowledge is not yet secure. Is there anything that could secure knowledge of the "external world" knowledge, that is, of anything beyond your own thoughts? (For Descartes' answer to this question, proceed to "Cartesian Foundationalism".) Plato's Allegory of the Cave

3 In Plato's Republic, Socrates imagines this problem another way. And puts it to a different use; but it is still the problem of knowing when one has grasped "reality", where reality is always filtered through, and perhaps distorted by, the senses. Have a look at this video (click here) of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. You're the philosopher: How can one ever know when one has "transcended" the shadows of the cave (or, as we might put it, the limits and distortions of the senses)? Does the mind create reality? Not convinced that the senses are limited and distorting? Click on this link to a great interactive website full of optical illusions. Cartesian Foundationalism Read Meditation 3 of Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. For an online copy of the entire text, click here. In the quest for objective certainty, one can be sure of this: I exist (at least as long as one is thinking). In light of the dream argument and the evil deceiver argument, one might still wonder, what am I? That is, what is it about the I I have just proved exists that remains certain in light of the possibility that I am indeed under the influence of an evil deceiver? Descartes argues that all that remains is the content of one s mind: no matter how deceived I may be about how things actually are, it is beyond doubt that, as I sit here now, it seems that I am at this table in this room reading this text. If we have genuine knowledge of the external world, somehow we must be able to certify the link we think there is between the content of the mind and the outside world.

4 Our Epistemic Situation The Edifice of Knowledge Descartes' strategy is to refute the evil deceiver argument--that is, prove that God exists and is not a deceiver--in which case, since God would not allow one to be mistaken about absolutely everything, one can be sure that when one is in possession of a "clear and distinct" idea (or perception), this idea maps onto the way the world truly is. Let s look more carefully at how this is supposed to go. Consider the following argument: 1. I seem to see a tree. 2. My perception is clear and distinct. 3. All clear and distinct ideas are true. 4. Therefore, there is a tree. Cartesian Foundationalism refers to the view that when, and only when, claims about the external world (such as, There is a tree) rest upon that is, are deduced from objectively certain premises, this is an instance of knowledge. Objectively certain premises are foundational beliefs those that, like I exist, are immune to doubt. All claims about the content of one s mind are foundational in this sense.

5 Premises 1 and 2 are supposed to be foundational, but 3 says something about the link between clear and distinct perception and the way the world is. So premise 3 is not foundational. Is it justified? If it is, it must be deduced from other foundational (or justified) beliefs. This is why Descartes needs to refute the evil deceiver argument by way of proving that God exists (and is not a deceiver) to establish with certainty that all clear and distinct ideas are true. It s difficult to say exactly how one arrives at a clear and distinct idea, but Descartes argues that this criterion is the mark of accurate perception. The Cartesian Circle Note that since no claim is justified unless it can be deduced from foundational (or other justified) beliefs, the claim that God exists must be proved on this basis. Thus, Descartes gives a version of the Ontological Argument in which he claims that the cause of his idea of God a perfect being must be God. Since this belief isn t itself foundational again, it refers to the link between what s in the mind and what isn t it too must have a proof. Does it? Descartes defense of the claim that his idea of God must be caused by God appeals to its clarity and distinctness, which assures him of its veracity. But this is problem. In order to prove that there is a tree, we need to prove that all clear and distinct ideas are true, but in order to prove that all clear and distinct ideas are true, we need to prove that God exists, but in order to prove that God exists, we need to prove that the cause of the idea of God is God, but in order to prove this we must appeal to the clarity and distinctness criterion, which has not yet been established as guaranteeing truth. This problem has come to be known as The Cartesian Circle. Hume's Problem of Induction Read the excerpt from David Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Whereas knowledge seems to require that the believed proposition is true, which, according to the skeptic, can never be known due to our fallible and limited senses, justification is a weaker notion consisting in the strength of one's evidence and/or reasons for believing something. Thus, you may be justified in believing that, for example, there is a computer on the desk, even if you don't know (since you might be dreaming) that there is a computer on the desk. Of course, the justification of immediate sense perception is more important when one considers that the claims of science depend on it. For example, scientists think that there is black hole at the center of our galaxy; that all life on Earth is related; that the next emerald discovered will be green; and that the laws of nature hold throughout the universe. Induction is the means we have of arriving at most of these claims. Induction--the sort of interest to us here--is a type of inference that moves from evidence to either a prediction about what will happen, or a generalization about what is always the case. Hume's Argument

6 David Hume was interested in the justification of these predictions and generalizations-- specifically, to what degree are we justified in believing that, for example, the sun will rise tomorrow? No doubt we do believe that the sun will rise tomorrow, and we certainly feel justified in believing this since the sun has always risen in the past. But Hume points out that we would have no justification for this prediction if it weren't for the assumption that what connects the past with future events is the presence of causal laws. (In this case, since gravity holds the Earth in orbit around the sun and inertia keeps the Earth spinning on its axis, we can be reasonably assured that the sun will rise tomorrow.) Thus, our inference from the past to what will happen in the future is only justified if these causal laws are. Causal laws are generalizations. On what basis are we justified in believing in a causal law? How Might Any Claim Be Justified? Here we should consider how any claim might be justified. Every claim, according to Hume, is either a relation of ideas or a matter of fact. Relations of ideas are always justified since they follow from definitions. Matters of fact on the hand are of two sorts: observed and unobserved. Observed matters of fact are justified, since all knowledge stems from this sort of sensory input. Unobserved matters of fact, however, must be justified by an argument, of which there are two types: deductive and inductive. Deduction is a form of inference that is truth-preserving; thus, any conclusion that follows deductively from true premises is justified. What about induction? Since induction is a type of inference that moves from evidence to a prediction or generalization, inductive arguments must presuppose that nature is uniform, in the sense that causal laws hold everywhere and for all time. Thus, inductive arguments are only justified if the principle of the uniformity of nature is justified. So now we might ask: how are causal laws justified? Are Causal Laws Justified? Hume argues that causal laws are not relations of ideas, since they are certainly not true by definition. Nor are they observed matters of fact--since they are supposed to be "laws", they go well beyond the present and past testimony of the senses and say something about how things are generally. Can one give a deductively valid argument for a causal law? No. Our reason for believing that, for example, F=ma (a generalization), is that all experimentation thus far confirms this hypothesis. It is always possible, however, that we will discover it to be false. Thus, this law is supported by inductive reasoning. Now, as noted, all induction presupposes that nature is uniform, so causal laws, since they are all generalizations of this sort, are only as justified as the principle of the uniformity of nature (PUN). Is PUN Justified?

7 Here we have this claim that seems to be at the root of all claims of science: that nature is uniform. We are justified in believing that the sun will rise tomorrow only if we are justified in believing causal laws which connect past observations with predictions about what will happen in the future, and we are justified in believing in causal laws only if we are justified in believing that nature is uniform. Hume argues that we are NOT justified in believing that they sun will rise tomorrow because we are not justified in believing that nature is uniform. To show this, you need only run the claim, "Nature is uniform" through all the possibilities there are for justifying such a claim. Ultimately, PUN is justified by induction, which presupposes the very thing we are trying to justify. You're the philosopher: Use the chart below to demonstrate that PUN is not justified, and therefore, neither is the claim that the sun will rise tomorrow.

8

Descartes and Foundationalism

Descartes and Foundationalism Cogito, ergo sum Who was René Descartes? 1596-1650 Life and Times Notable accomplishments modern philosophy mind body problem epistemology physics inertia optics mathematics functions analytic geometry

More information

Think by Simon Blackburn. Chapter 1b Knowledge

Think by Simon Blackburn. Chapter 1b Knowledge Think by Simon Blackburn Chapter 1b Knowledge According to A.C. Grayling, if cogito ergo sum is an argument, it is missing a premise. This premise is: A. Everything that exists thinks. B. Everything that

More information

WHAT IS HUME S FORK? Certainty does not exist in science.

WHAT IS HUME S FORK?  Certainty does not exist in science. WHAT IS HUME S FORK? www.prshockley.org Certainty does not exist in science. I. Introduction: A. Hume divides all objects of human reason into two different kinds: Relation of Ideas & Matters of Fact.

More information

Rationalism. A. He, like others at the time, was obsessed with questions of truth and doubt

Rationalism. A. He, like others at the time, was obsessed with questions of truth and doubt Rationalism I. Descartes (1596-1650) A. He, like others at the time, was obsessed with questions of truth and doubt 1. How could one be certain in the absence of religious guidance and trustworthy senses

More information

Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to Philosophy Introduction to Philosophy Descartes 2: The Cogito Jeremy Dunham Descartes Meditations A Recap of Meditation 1 First Person Narrative From Empiricism to Rationalism The Withholding Principle Local Doubt

More information

Class #3 - Illusion Descartes, from Meditations on First Philosophy Descartes, The Story of the Wax Descartes, The Story of the Sun

Class #3 - Illusion Descartes, from Meditations on First Philosophy Descartes, The Story of the Wax Descartes, The Story of the Sun Philosophy 110W: Introduction to Philosophy Fall 2014 Hamilton College Russell Marcus Class #3 - Illusion Descartes, from Meditations on First Philosophy Descartes, The Story of the Wax Descartes, The

More information

Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to Philosophy Introduction to Philosophy Philosophy 110W Fall 2014 Russell Marcus Class #3 - Illusion Descartes, from Meditations on First Philosophy Marcus, Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2014 Slide 1 Business P

More information

Definitions of Gods of Descartes and Locke

Definitions of Gods of Descartes and Locke Assignment of Introduction to Philosophy Definitions of Gods of Descartes and Locke June 7, 2015 Kenzo Fujisue 1. Introduction Through lectures of Introduction to Philosophy, I studied that Christianity

More information

Religious Experience. Well, it feels real

Religious Experience. Well, it feels real Religious Experience Well, it feels real St. Teresa of Avila/Jesus 1515-1582 Non-visual experience I was at prayer on a festival of the glorious Saint Peter when I saw Christ at my side or, to put it better,

More information

G.E. Moore A Refutation of Skepticism

G.E. Moore A Refutation of Skepticism G.E. Moore A Refutation of Skepticism The Argument For Skepticism 1. If you do not know that you are not merely a brain in a vat, then you do not even know that you have hands. 2. You do not know that

More information

New Chapter: Epistemology: The Theory and Nature of Knowledge

New Chapter: Epistemology: The Theory and Nature of Knowledge Intro to Philosophy Phil 110 Lecture 12: 2-15 Daniel Kelly I. Mechanics A. Upcoming Readings 1. Today we ll discuss a. Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (full.pdf) 2. Next week a. Locke, An Essay

More information

The problems of induction in scientific inquiry: Challenges and solutions. Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction Defining induction...

The problems of induction in scientific inquiry: Challenges and solutions. Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction Defining induction... The problems of induction in scientific inquiry: Challenges and solutions Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction... 2 2.0 Defining induction... 2 3.0 Induction versus deduction... 2 4.0 Hume's descriptive

More information

The Problem of Induction and Popper s Deductivism

The Problem of Induction and Popper s Deductivism The Problem of Induction and Popper s Deductivism Issues: I. Problem of Induction II. Popper s rejection of induction III. Salmon s critique of deductivism 2 I. The problem of induction 1. Inductive vs.

More information

From the fact that I cannot think of God except as existing, it follows that existence is inseparable from God, and hence that he really exists.

From the fact that I cannot think of God except as existing, it follows that existence is inseparable from God, and hence that he really exists. FIFTH MEDITATION The essence of material things, and the existence of God considered a second time We have seen that Descartes carefully distinguishes questions about a thing s existence from questions

More information

Chapter 18 David Hume: Theory of Knowledge

Chapter 18 David Hume: Theory of Knowledge Key Words Chapter 18 David Hume: Theory of Knowledge Empiricism, skepticism, personal identity, necessary connection, causal connection, induction, impressions, ideas. DAVID HUME (1711-76) is one of the

More information

Hume s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Hume s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Hume s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding G. J. Mattey Spring, 2017 / Philosophy 1 After Descartes The greatest success of the philosophy of Descartes was that it helped pave the way for the mathematical

More information

VERIFICATION AND METAPHYSICS

VERIFICATION AND METAPHYSICS Michael Lacewing The project of logical positivism VERIFICATION AND METAPHYSICS In the 1930s, a school of philosophy arose called logical positivism. Like much philosophy, it was concerned with the foundations

More information

Philosophy Epistemology. Topic 3 - Skepticism

Philosophy Epistemology. Topic 3 - Skepticism Michael Huemer on Skepticism Philosophy 3340 - Epistemology Topic 3 - Skepticism Chapter II. The Lure of Radical Skepticism 1. Mike Huemer defines radical skepticism as follows: Philosophical skeptics

More information

Supplemental Material 2a: The Proto-psychologists. In this presentation, we will have a short review of the Scientific Revolution and the

Supplemental Material 2a: The Proto-psychologists. In this presentation, we will have a short review of the Scientific Revolution and the Supplemental Material 2a: The Proto-psychologists Introduction In this presentation, we will have a short review of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment period. Thus, we will briefly examine

More information

1/9. Leibniz on Descartes Principles

1/9. Leibniz on Descartes Principles 1/9 Leibniz on Descartes Principles In 1692, or nearly fifty years after the first publication of Descartes Principles of Philosophy, Leibniz wrote his reflections on them indicating the points in which

More information

Some Notes Toward a Genealogy of Existential Philosophy Robert Burch

Some Notes Toward a Genealogy of Existential Philosophy Robert Burch Some Notes Toward a Genealogy of Existential Philosophy Robert Burch Descartes - ostensive task: to secure by ungainsayable rational means the orthodox doctrines of faith regarding the existence of God

More information

In Defense of Radical Empiricism. Joseph Benjamin Riegel. Chapel Hill 2006

In Defense of Radical Empiricism. Joseph Benjamin Riegel. Chapel Hill 2006 In Defense of Radical Empiricism Joseph Benjamin Riegel A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

More information

Introduction to Philosophy. Spring 2017

Introduction to Philosophy. Spring 2017 Introduction to Philosophy Spring 2017 Elements of The Matrix The Matrix obviously has a lot of interesting parallels, themes, philosophical points, etc. For this class, the most interesting are the religious

More information

complete state of affairs and an infinite set of events in one go. Imagine the following scenarios:

complete state of affairs and an infinite set of events in one go. Imagine the following scenarios: -1- -2- EPISTEMOLOGY AND METHODOLOGY 3. We are in a physics laboratory and make the observation that all objects fall at a uniform Can we solve the problem of induction, and if not, to what extent is it

More information

REVIEW: James R. Brown, The Laboratory of the Mind

REVIEW: James R. Brown, The Laboratory of the Mind REVIEW: James R. Brown, The Laboratory of the Mind Author(s): Michael T. Stuart Source: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2012) 237-241. Published

More information

McDowell and the New Evil Genius

McDowell and the New Evil Genius 1 McDowell and the New Evil Genius Ram Neta and Duncan Pritchard 0. Many epistemologists both internalists and externalists regard the New Evil Genius Problem (Lehrer & Cohen 1983) as constituting an important

More information

VARIETIES OF SKEPTICISM. Jonathan Vogel Amherst Collge and Harvard University

VARIETIES OF SKEPTICISM. Jonathan Vogel Amherst Collge and Harvard University VARIETIES OF SKEPTICISM Jonathan Vogel Amherst Collge and Harvard University 1. Skepticism as an underdetermination problem Skepticism about the external world is a philosophical problem, but there are

More information

History of Modern Philosophy. Hume ( )

History of Modern Philosophy. Hume ( ) Hume 1 Hume (1711-1776) With Berkeley s idealism, some very uncomfortable consequences of Cartesian dualism, the split between mind and experience, on the one hand, and the body and the physical world

More information

Descartes, Husserl, and Derrida on Cogito

Descartes, Husserl, and Derrida on Cogito Descartes, Husserl, and Derrida on Cogito Conf. Dr. Sorin SABOU Director, Research Center for Baptist Historical and Theological Studies Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest Instructor of Biblical

More information

The Skeptic and the Dogmatist

The Skeptic and the Dogmatist NOÛS 34:4 ~2000! 517 549 The Skeptic and the Dogmatist James Pryor Harvard University I Consider the skeptic about the external world. Let s straightaway concede to such a skeptic that perception gives

More information

Notes on Bertrand Russell s The Problems of Philosophy (Hackett 1990 reprint of the 1912 Oxford edition, Chapters XII, XIII, XIV, )

Notes on Bertrand Russell s The Problems of Philosophy (Hackett 1990 reprint of the 1912 Oxford edition, Chapters XII, XIII, XIV, ) Notes on Bertrand Russell s The Problems of Philosophy (Hackett 1990 reprint of the 1912 Oxford edition, Chapters XII, XIII, XIV, 119-152) Chapter XII Truth and Falsehood [pp. 119-130] Russell begins here

More information

Spinoza, Ethics 1 of 85 THE ETHICS. by Benedict de Spinoza (Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata) Translated from the Latin by R. H. M.

Spinoza, Ethics 1 of 85 THE ETHICS. by Benedict de Spinoza (Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata) Translated from the Latin by R. H. M. Spinoza, Ethics 1 of 85 THE ETHICS by Benedict de Spinoza (Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata) Translated from the Latin by R. H. M. Elwes PART I: CONCERNING GOD DEFINITIONS (1) By that which is self-caused

More information

Chance, Chaos and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

Chance, Chaos and the Principle of Sufficient Reason Chance, Chaos and the Principle of Sufficient Reason Alexander R. Pruss Department of Philosophy Baylor University October 8, 2015 Contents The Principle of Sufficient Reason Against the PSR Chance Fundamental

More information

TWO VERSIONS OF HUME S LAW

TWO VERSIONS OF HUME S LAW DISCUSSION NOTE BY CAMPBELL BROWN JOURNAL OF ETHICS & SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY DISCUSSION NOTE MAY 2015 URL: WWW.JESP.ORG COPYRIGHT CAMPBELL BROWN 2015 Two Versions of Hume s Law MORAL CONCLUSIONS CANNOT VALIDLY

More information

Paley s Inductive Inference to Design

Paley s Inductive Inference to Design PHILOSOPHIA CHRISTI VOL. 7, NO. 2 COPYRIGHT 2005 Paley s Inductive Inference to Design A Response to Graham Oppy JONAH N. SCHUPBACH Department of Philosophy Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan

More information

Fr. Copleston vs. Bertrand Russell: The Famous 1948 BBC Radio Debate on the Existence of God

Fr. Copleston vs. Bertrand Russell: The Famous 1948 BBC Radio Debate on the Existence of God Fr. Copleston vs. Bertrand Russell: The Famous 1948 BBC Radio Debate on the Existence of God Father Frederick C. Copleston (Jesuit Catholic priest) versus Bertrand Russell (agnostic philosopher) Copleston:

More information

Free Will: Do We Have It?

Free Will: Do We Have It? Free Will: Do We Have It? This book explains the problem of free will and contains a brief summary of the essential arguments in Ayer's "Freedom and Necessity" and Chisholm's "Human Freedom and the Self".

More information

What Makes the Catholic Faith Catholic? Deacon Tracy Jamison, OCDS, PhD

What Makes the Catholic Faith Catholic? Deacon Tracy Jamison, OCDS, PhD What Makes the Catholic Faith Catholic? Deacon Tracy Jamison, OCDS, PhD We can understand the Christian act of faith in the word of God on analogy to the natural act of faith in the word of a credible

More information

What Place is there for God in Cartesian Doubt?

What Place is there for God in Cartesian Doubt? 315 What Place is there for God in Cartesian Doubt? Lydia Jaeger Summary In the accepted view, Descartes is a rationalist philosopher taking human thought as the starting-point of all knowledge, because

More information

Sensitivity hasn t got a Heterogeneity Problem - a Reply to Melchior

Sensitivity hasn t got a Heterogeneity Problem - a Reply to Melchior DOI 10.1007/s11406-016-9782-z Sensitivity hasn t got a Heterogeneity Problem - a Reply to Melchior Kevin Wallbridge 1 Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 # The

More information

1/8. Descartes 3: Proofs of the Existence of God

1/8. Descartes 3: Proofs of the Existence of God 1/8 Descartes 3: Proofs of the Existence of God Descartes opens the Third Meditation by reminding himself that nothing that is purely sensory is reliable. The one thing that is certain is the cogito. He

More information

Is Klein an infinitist about doxastic justification?

Is Klein an infinitist about doxastic justification? Philos Stud (2007) 134:19 24 DOI 10.1007/s11098-006-9016-5 ORIGINAL PAPER Is Klein an infinitist about doxastic justification? Michael Bergmann Published online: 7 March 2007 Ó Springer Science+Business

More information

HUME S SCEPTICISM ABOUT INDUCTION

HUME S SCEPTICISM ABOUT INDUCTION 3 HUME S SCEPTICISM ABOUT INDUCTION Peter Millican Is Hume a sceptic about induction? This might seem to be a fairly straightforward question, but its appearance is misleading, and the appropriate response

More information

Descartes Method of Doubt

Descartes Method of Doubt Descartes Method of Doubt Philosophy 100 Lecture 9 PUTTING IT TOGETHER. Descartes Idea 1. The New Science. What science is about is describing the nature and interaction of the ultimate constituents of

More information

William Meehan Essay on Spinoza s psychology.

William Meehan Essay on Spinoza s psychology. William Meehan wmeehan@wi.edu Essay on Spinoza s psychology. Baruch (Benedictus) Spinoza is best known in the history of psychology for his theory of the emotions and for being the first modern thinker

More information

John Locke. British Empiricism

John Locke. British Empiricism John Locke British Empiricism Locke Biographical Notes: Locke is credited as the founder of the British "Common Sense" movement, later known as empiricism - he was also the founder of the modern political

More information

A Priori Bootstrapping

A Priori Bootstrapping A Priori Bootstrapping Ralph Wedgwood In this essay, I shall explore the problems that are raised by a certain traditional sceptical paradox. My conclusion, at the end of this essay, will be that the most

More information

1/6. The Second Analogy (2)

1/6. The Second Analogy (2) 1/6 The Second Analogy (2) Last time we looked at some of Kant s discussion of the Second Analogy, including the argument that is discussed most often as Kant s response to Hume s sceptical doubts concerning

More information

Philosophy and Logical Syntax (1935)

Philosophy and Logical Syntax (1935) Rudolf Carnap: Philosophy and Logical Syntax (1935) Chap. "The Rejection of Metaphysics" 1.Verifiability The problems of philosophy as usually dealt with are of very different kinds. From the point of

More information

Seeing Through The Veil of Perception *

Seeing Through The Veil of Perception * Seeing Through The Veil of Perception * Abstract Suppose our visual experiences immediately justify some of our beliefs about the external world, that is, justify them in a way that does not rely on our

More information

Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order

Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order Benedict Spinoza Copyright Jonathan Bennett 2017. All rights reserved [Brackets] enclose editorial explanations. Small dots enclose material that has been added,

More information

CLASS #17: CHALLENGES TO POSITIVISM/BEHAVIORAL APPROACH

CLASS #17: CHALLENGES TO POSITIVISM/BEHAVIORAL APPROACH CLASS #17: CHALLENGES TO POSITIVISM/BEHAVIORAL APPROACH I. Challenges to Confirmation A. The Inductivist Turkey B. Discovery vs. Justification 1. Discovery 2. Justification C. Hume's Problem 1. Inductive

More information

Introduction to Philosophy Russell Marcus Queens College http://philosophy.thatmarcusfamily.org Excerpts from the Objections & Replies to Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy A. To the Cogito. 1.

More information

Boghossian & Harman on the analytic theory of the a priori

Boghossian & Harman on the analytic theory of the a priori Boghossian & Harman on the analytic theory of the a priori PHIL 83104 November 2, 2011 Both Boghossian and Harman address themselves to the question of whether our a priori knowledge can be explained in

More information

Hume s Methodology and the Science of Human Nature

Hume s Methodology and the Science of Human Nature Hume s Methodology and the Science of Human Nature Vadim V. Vasilyev In this paper I try to explain a strange omission in Hume s methodological descriptions in his first Enquiry. In the course of this

More information

A Riddle of Induction

A Riddle of Induction http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/learning-formal/ (On Goodman s New Riddle of Induction) This illustrates how means-ends analysis can evaluate methods: the bold method meets the goal of reliably arriving

More information

CHAPTER 13: UNDERSTANDING PERSUASIVE. What is persuasion: process of influencing people s belief, attitude, values or behavior.

CHAPTER 13: UNDERSTANDING PERSUASIVE. What is persuasion: process of influencing people s belief, attitude, values or behavior. Logos Ethos Pathos Chapter 13 CHAPTER 13: UNDERSTANDING PERSUASIVE What is persuasion: process of influencing people s belief, attitude, values or behavior. Persuasive speaking: process of doing so in

More information

INTERMEDIATE LOGIC Glossary of key terms

INTERMEDIATE LOGIC Glossary of key terms 1 GLOSSARY INTERMEDIATE LOGIC BY JAMES B. NANCE INTERMEDIATE LOGIC Glossary of key terms This glossary includes terms that are defined in the text in the lesson and on the page noted. It does not include

More information

Kripke on the distinctness of the mind from the body

Kripke on the distinctness of the mind from the body Kripke on the distinctness of the mind from the body Jeff Speaks April 13, 2005 At pp. 144 ff., Kripke turns his attention to the mind-body problem. The discussion here brings to bear many of the results

More information

24.09 Minds and Machines Fall 11 HASS-D CI

24.09 Minds and Machines Fall 11 HASS-D CI 24.09 Minds and Machines Fall 11 HASS-D CI perception Image by MIT OpenCourseWare. 1 reminder from first lecture: course overview 1. can computers think? 2. from dualism to functionalism a survey of theories

More information

A DEFENSE OF CARTESIAN CERTAINTY

A DEFENSE OF CARTESIAN CERTAINTY A DEFENSE OF CARTESIAN CERTAINTY by STEPHANIE LARSEN WYKSTRA A dissertation submitted to the Graduate School-New Brunswick Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey In partial fulfillment of the requirements

More information

PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY

PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY www.xtremepapers.com Paper 9774/01 Introduction to Philosophy and Theology General Comments Most answers were detailed and analytic and showed good time-management. Candidates were

More information

ORIGINS OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY The Problem of Induction

ORIGINS OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY The Problem of Induction ORIGINS OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY The Problem of Induction Peter Prevos 23 May 2005 1 Introduction Inductive inferences play an important role on our every day and scientific thinking. Francis Bacon (1561 1626)

More information

Theory of Knowledge. 5. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Christopher Hitchens). Do you agree?

Theory of Knowledge. 5. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Christopher Hitchens). Do you agree? Theory of Knowledge 5. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Christopher Hitchens). Do you agree? Candidate Name: Syed Tousif Ahmed Candidate Number: 006644 009

More information

- 1 - Outline of NICOMACHEAN ETHICS, Book I Book I--Dialectical discussion leading to Aristotle's definition of happiness: activity in accordance

- 1 - Outline of NICOMACHEAN ETHICS, Book I Book I--Dialectical discussion leading to Aristotle's definition of happiness: activity in accordance - 1 - Outline of NICOMACHEAN ETHICS, Book I Book I--Dialectical discussion leading to Aristotle's definition of happiness: activity in accordance with virtue or excellence (arete) in a complete life Chapter

More information

Creation & necessity

Creation & necessity Creation & necessity Today we turn to one of the central claims made about God in the Nicene Creed: that God created all things visible and invisible. In the Catechism, creation is described like this:

More information

Epistemology. PH654 Bethel Seminary Winter To be able to better understand and evaluate the sources, methods, and limits of human knowing,

Epistemology. PH654 Bethel Seminary Winter To be able to better understand and evaluate the sources, methods, and limits of human knowing, Epistemology PH654 Bethel Seminary Winter 2009 Professor: Dr. Jim Beilby Office Hours: By appointment AC335 Phone: Office: (651) 638-6057; Home: (763) 780-2180; Email: beijam@bethel.edu Course Info: Th

More information

Social Knowledge and the Role of Inductive Inference An Appraisal of Two Contemporary Approaches

Social Knowledge and the Role of Inductive Inference An Appraisal of Two Contemporary Approaches Global Journal of HUMAN SOCIAL SCIENCE Volume 12 Issue 4 Version 1.0 Type: Double Blind Peer Reviewed International Research Journal Publisher: Global Journals Inc. (USA) Online ISSN: 2249-460x & Print

More information

MY PURPOSE IN THIS BOOK IS TO PRESENT A

MY PURPOSE IN THIS BOOK IS TO PRESENT A I Holistic Pragmatism and the Philosophy of Culture MY PURPOSE IN THIS BOOK IS TO PRESENT A philosophical discussion of the main elements of civilization or culture such as science, law, religion, politics,

More information

The Argument (for rationalism) from Induction. More than observation is needed

The Argument (for rationalism) from Induction. More than observation is needed The Argument (for rationalism) from Induction More than observation is needed Summary of argument for rationalism... if the conclusions of the inferences genuinely go beyond the content of direct experience,

More information

Demons and Dreams. Diana Mertz Hsieh Epistemology (Phil 5340, Huemer) 12 December 2003

Demons and Dreams. Diana Mertz Hsieh Epistemology (Phil 5340, Huemer) 12 December 2003 Demons and Dreams Diana Mertz Hsieh (diana@dianahsieh.com) Epistemology (Phil 5340, Huemer) 12 December 2003 The Problem of Doubt Abstract questions about the nature of certainty, although clearly of interest

More information

Hume, the New Hume, and Causal Connections Ken Levy Hume Studies Volume XXVI, Number 1 (April, 2000)

Hume, the New Hume, and Causal Connections Ken Levy Hume Studies Volume XXVI, Number 1 (April, 2000) Hume, the New Hume, and Causal Connections Ken Levy Hume Studies Volume XXVI, Number 1 (April, 2000) 41-76. Your use of the HUME STUDIES archive indicates your acceptance of HUME STUDIES Terms and Conditions

More information

Certainty, Necessity, and Knowledge in Hume s Treatise

Certainty, Necessity, and Knowledge in Hume s Treatise Certainty, Necessity, and Knowledge in Hume s Treatise Miren Boehm Abstract: Hume appeals to different kinds of certainties and necessities in the Treatise. He contrasts the certainty that arises from

More information

Syllabus. Primary Sources, 2 edition. Hackett, Various supplementary handouts, available in class and on the course website.

Syllabus. Primary Sources, 2 edition. Hackett, Various supplementary handouts, available in class and on the course website. Philosophy 203: History of Modern Western Philosophy Spring 2012 Tuesdays, Thursdays: 9am - 10:15am SC G041 Hamilton College Russell Marcus Office: 202 College Hill Road, Upstairs email: rmarcus1@hamilton.edu

More information

The Ontological Argument for the existence of God. Pedro M. Guimarães Ferreira S.J. PUC-Rio Boston College, July 13th. 2011

The Ontological Argument for the existence of God. Pedro M. Guimarães Ferreira S.J. PUC-Rio Boston College, July 13th. 2011 The Ontological Argument for the existence of God Pedro M. Guimarães Ferreira S.J. PUC-Rio Boston College, July 13th. 2011 The ontological argument (henceforth, O.A.) for the existence of God has a long

More information

III Knowledge is true belief based on argument. Plato, Theaetetus, 201 c-d Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Edmund Gettier

III Knowledge is true belief based on argument. Plato, Theaetetus, 201 c-d Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Edmund Gettier III Knowledge is true belief based on argument. Plato, Theaetetus, 201 c-d Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Edmund Gettier In Theaetetus Plato introduced the definition of knowledge which is often translated

More information

Must we have self-evident knowledge if we know anything?

Must we have self-evident knowledge if we know anything? 1 Must we have self-evident knowledge if we know anything? Introduction In this essay, I will describe Aristotle's account of scientific knowledge as given in Posterior Analytics, before discussing some

More information

Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order

Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order 1 Copyright Jonathan Bennett [Brackets] enclose editorial explanations. Small dots enclose material that has been added, but can be read as though it were part of the original text. Occasional bullets,

More information

Hume on Ideas, Impressions, and Knowledge

Hume on Ideas, Impressions, and Knowledge Hume on Ideas, Impressions, and Knowledge in class. Let my try one more time to make clear the ideas we discussed today Ideas and Impressions First off, Hume, like Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley, believes

More information

Wright on response-dependence and self-knowledge

Wright on response-dependence and self-knowledge Wright on response-dependence and self-knowledge March 23, 2004 1 Response-dependent and response-independent concepts........... 1 1.1 The intuitive distinction......................... 1 1.2 Basic equations

More information

SKEPTICISM, REASON AND REIDIANISM

SKEPTICISM, REASON AND REIDIANISM SKEPTICISM, REASON AND REIDIANISM Joel Pust University of Delaware Abstract The traditional problems of epistemology have often been thought to be properly solved only by the provision of an argument,

More information

Chapter 1: A Dozen Problems in the Philosophy of Mind

Chapter 1: A Dozen Problems in the Philosophy of Mind Ch1Mindbook.doc 1 Chapter 1: A Dozen Problems in the Philosophy of Mind The aim of this book is to introduce the reader to the philosophy of mind. I have three objectives. First, the reader should get

More information

Argumentative Analogy versus Figurative Analogy

Argumentative Analogy versus Figurative Analogy Argumentative Analogy versus Figurative Analogy By Timo Schmitz, Philosopher As argumentative analogy or simply analogism (ἀναλογισµός), one calls the comparison through inductive reasoning of at least

More information

Is there a distinction between a priori and a posteriori

Is there a distinction between a priori and a posteriori Lingnan University Digital Commons @ Lingnan University Theses & Dissertations Department of Philosophy 2014 Is there a distinction between a priori and a posteriori Hiu Man CHAN Follow this and additional

More information

Philosophy Epistemology Topic 5 The Justification of Induction 1. Hume s Skeptical Challenge to Induction

Philosophy Epistemology Topic 5 The Justification of Induction 1. Hume s Skeptical Challenge to Induction Philosophy 5340 - Epistemology Topic 5 The Justification of Induction 1. Hume s Skeptical Challenge to Induction In the section entitled Sceptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding

More information

Logic is the study of the quality of arguments. An argument consists of a set of

Logic is the study of the quality of arguments. An argument consists of a set of Logic: Inductive Logic is the study of the quality of arguments. An argument consists of a set of premises and a conclusion. The quality of an argument depends on at least two factors: the truth of the

More information

Hume, Probability, Lotteries and Miracles Bruce Langtry Hume Studies Volume XVI, Number 1 (April, 1990)

Hume, Probability, Lotteries and Miracles Bruce Langtry Hume Studies Volume XVI, Number 1 (April, 1990) Hume, Probability, Lotteries and Miracles Bruce Langtry Hume Studies Volume XVI, Number 1 (April, 1990) 67-74. Your use of the HUME STUDIES archive indicates your acceptance of HUME STUDIES Terms and Conditions

More information

5 A Modal Version of the

5 A Modal Version of the 5 A Modal Version of the Ontological Argument E. J. L O W E Moreland, J. P.; Sweis, Khaldoun A.; Meister, Chad V., Jul 01, 2013, Debating Christian Theism The original version of the ontological argument

More information

Kant, Hume, and the Notion of Material Substance

Kant, Hume, and the Notion of Material Substance Kant, Hume, and the Notion of Material Substance By Cameron David Brewer B.A., Ursinus College, 2002 M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago 2006 THESIS Submitted as partial fulfillment of the

More information

On A. J. Ayer and the Function of Philosophy Richard G. Howe, Ph.D. Introduction

On A. J. Ayer and the Function of Philosophy Richard G. Howe, Ph.D. Introduction On A. J. Ayer and the Function of Philosophy Richard G. Howe, Ph.D. Introduction In this paper I examine portions of A. J. Ayer's seminal work Language, Truth and Logic. 1 Specifically, I try to exposit

More information

The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology Oxford Scholarship Online You are looking at 1-10 of 21 items for: booktitle : handbook phimet The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology Paul K. Moser (ed.) Item type: book DOI: 10.1093/0195130057.001.0001 This

More information

A Priori Skepticism and the KK Thesis

A Priori Skepticism and the KK Thesis A Priori Skepticism and the KK Thesis James R. Beebe (University at Buffalo) International Journal for the Study of Skepticism (forthcoming) In Beebe (2011), I argued against the widespread reluctance

More information

Justified Inference. Ralph Wedgwood

Justified Inference. Ralph Wedgwood Justified Inference Ralph Wedgwood In this essay, I shall propose a general conception of the kind of inference that counts as justified or rational. This conception involves a version of the idea that

More information

Chapter 1. Introduction. 1.1 Deductive and Plausible Reasoning Strong Syllogism

Chapter 1. Introduction. 1.1 Deductive and Plausible Reasoning Strong Syllogism Contents 1 Introduction 3 1.1 Deductive and Plausible Reasoning................... 3 1.1.1 Strong Syllogism......................... 3 1.1.2 Weak Syllogism.......................... 4 1.1.3 Transitivity

More information

PHILOSOPHY 4360/5360 METAPHYSICS. Methods that Metaphysicians Use

PHILOSOPHY 4360/5360 METAPHYSICS. Methods that Metaphysicians Use PHILOSOPHY 4360/5360 METAPHYSICS Methods that Metaphysicians Use Method 1: The appeal to what one can imagine where imagining some state of affairs involves forming a vivid image of that state of affairs.

More information

Ayer and Quine on the a priori

Ayer and Quine on the a priori Ayer and Quine on the a priori November 23, 2004 1 The problem of a priori knowledge Ayer s book is a defense of a thoroughgoing empiricism, not only about what is required for a belief to be justified

More information

Part I: The Structure of Philosophy

Part I: The Structure of Philosophy Revised, 8/30/08 Part I: The Structure of Philosophy Philosophy as the love of wisdom The basic questions and branches of philosophy The branches of the branches and the many philosophical questions that

More information

Baha i Proofs for the Existence of God

Baha i Proofs for the Existence of God Page 1 Baha i Proofs for the Existence of God Ian Kluge to show that belief in God can be rational and logically coherent and is not necessarily a product of uncritical religious dogmatism or ignorance.

More information

YFIA205 Basics of Research Methodology in Social Sciences Lecture 1. Science, Knowledge and Theory. Jyväskylä 3.11.

YFIA205 Basics of Research Methodology in Social Sciences Lecture 1. Science, Knowledge and Theory. Jyväskylä 3.11. YFIA205 Basics of Research Methodology in Social Sciences Lecture 1. Science, Knowledge and Theory Jyväskylä 3.11.2014 Petteri Niemi Philosophy of Science There is no such thing as philosophy-free science;

More information

What is an argument? PHIL 110. Is this an argument? Is this an argument? What about this? And what about this?

What is an argument? PHIL 110. Is this an argument? Is this an argument? What about this? And what about this? What is an argument? PHIL 110 Lecture on Chapter 3 of How to think about weird things An argument is a collection of two or more claims, one of which is the conclusion and the rest of which are the premises.

More information