The epicurean argument: Determinism and scepticism

Inquiry 32 (1):79 – 94 (1989)
This paper examines Honderich's attempt to make sense of the widespread view that acceptance of determinism undermines reason and knowledge. Since I am largely in sympathy with Honderich's approach to these issues, the paper develops a theme suggested by his discussion and disagrees with some details of the focus of his argument rather than challenging the general principles he employs. After introducing the issue and sketching Honderich's version of the argument from determinism to scepticism, I present an alternative which is closer to traditional patterns of sceptical argument. The concluding sections compare the two arguments and the anti?determinist assumptions about agency and the self which each employs: scepticism results from determinism against the background of a conception of rationality and justification which supports a Cartesian approach to epistemology and an internalist theory of justification
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DOI 10.1080/00201748908602179
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