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Download Acceptable Premises: An Epistemic Approach to an Informal by James B. Freeman PDF

By James B. Freeman

Whilst, if ever, is one justified in accepting the premises of a controversy? what's the right criterion of premise acceptability? offering a finished concept of premise acceptability, this ebook solutions those questions from an epistemological process that the writer calls "common experience foundationalism". His paintings could be of curiosity to experts in casual common sense, severe considering and argumentation idea in addition to to a broader diversity of philosophers and people educating rhetoric.

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I must find the claim that you exist unacceptable! But this is nonsense. Inherent probability is no criterion of acceptability. We may contrast inherent probability with epistemic probability, the probability of a statement relative to all our relevant background Why do We Need a Theory of Acceptability? 17 knowledge. This is “the best estimate of the statement’s truth, based on everything we know” (Nolt 1984, p. 193). Only when we have no evidence whatsoever bearing on a proposition is its epistemic probability the same as its inherent probability.

Should we not be confident that our actual observation renders observation reports certain but rather only likely, then we would turn to a fallibility model. We would regard our observations as conferring a certain numerical probability on each observation report. (It is completely unclear what this probability is or means. ) Let us assume that in a given stock of knowledge, three observation reports are relevant to a given statement. To determine the epistemic probability of that statement on this stock of knowledge, we should need first to determine the inductive probability of 8 = 23 arguments, where the various premise sets of these arguments reflect all the combinations of truth values that the observation reports can share.

Likewise, there is a presumption “that a marriage regularly solemnized is valid” (UllmannMargalit 1983a, p. 144). In both cases, we have, in effect, a (nondeductive, nonformal, material) inference rule that from certain premises we are to infer a certain conclusion, absent sufficient rebutting considerations. Our rules confer presumption status on their conclusions, which if used as premises are defended, not basic, premises. Understanding presumptions exclusively as inference rules from sets of premises to conclusions would seem to rule out speaking of presumptions for basic premises.

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