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Theoretical Philosophy » Justified Beliefs and Epistemology » 6/26/2017 11:09 am

UGADawg
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Yes, it's not justified by another proposition, but why is that a problem?

And Huemer has answered your reply regarding things like hallucinations, i.e. appearances serve to justify so long as there are no good defeaters.

Theoretical Philosophy » Justified Beliefs and Epistemology » 6/26/2017 9:06 am

UGADawg
Replies: 7

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No, they would be justified. That just is Huemer's argument, i.e. appearances are sufficient to justify belief in the absence of defeaters. He then argues denying this is self defeating. I would recommend reading his argument, e.g. see his article Phenomenal Conservatism and Self Defeat (2011).

Theoretical Philosophy » Justified Beliefs and Epistemology » 6/26/2017 5:54 am

UGADawg
Replies: 7

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I doubt it's possible to deny we can have justified true beliefs that are, at some level, non-inferential. I'm thinking of something like Michael Huemer's "self defeat argument" for phenomenal conservatism.

Theoretical Philosophy » Scholastic metaphysics and PSR » 6/18/2017 11:32 am

UGADawg
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His argument is that the parts of the judgement are not even necessarily linked if the PSR is false, which is worse than the Cartesian Demon situation, and that one cannot form a syllogistic argument without the PSR. This is because to do so would be to believe that your premises and conclusion follow a sort of entailment relation, which if the PSR is false would not necessarily be the case.

This is the case regardless of whether PSR is true or not though. Even if PSR is true, there remain skeptical scenarios that cannot in principle be eliminated (e.g. brain in vat, Cartesian demon, etc.). Yet we don't take that possibility to commit us to skepticism. But if that's the case, neither should we take PSR being false to commit us to skepticism, as it hinges on the mere potentiality that our beliefs are false, just as the usual skeptical scenarios do.

Theoretical Philosophy » Scholastic metaphysics and PSR » 6/18/2017 4:02 am

UGADawg
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Hi all, new to the forum

I'm having a difficult time understanding one of Dr. Feser's arguments in Scholastic Metaphysics, in particular on pgs 142-146 in my print copy. Dr. Feser seems to argue PSR is important for justifying the Scholastic PoC, for if PSR is true, PoC is true by modus tollens.

Dr. Feser spends only a few short paragraphs, though, defending PSR. He appeals to a couple of empirical arguments (top of pg 143), yet he seems to think these aren't especially strong because they are "mere empirical hypotheses." On pg 145 he gives another argument to the effect that, if PSR were false, every ostensibly explicable fact would ultimately be a brute fact, and so nothing would actually have an explanation, contrary to appearances.

I think those arguments both have some degree of plausibility, yet I'm not sure they're conclusive.

Yet the argument I'm most interested in is the bottom of pg 143 and pg 144, in particular Feser's attempt to show denying PSR results in absurdities w.r.t. our cognitive faculties.

I'm having a great difficulty seeing how this argument is supposed to work. The inference being made seems to be that if PSR is false, it's possible our cognitions / beliefs are happening for no reason whatsoever. And therefore, if that's possible, our rationality is undermined.

Yet I'm not sure this inference is legitimate. Even if PSR were true, it's still logically possible that we believe what we do for entirely the wrong reasons, for instance if we're deceived by a Cartesian demon. And those types of skeptical scenarios are generally designed so there is no way in principle of eliminating the possibility that we always go wrong. Yet that doesn't seem to commit us to skepticism, so why does PSR implying the possibility we always go wrong commit us to skepticism? I simply do not see how it does.

 

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