David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophical Research 28:329--340 (2002)
Richard Fumerton’s “Principle of Inferential Justification” holds that, in order to be justified in believing P on the basis of E, one must be justified in believing that E makes P probable. I argue that the plausibility of this principle rests upon two kinds of mistakes: first, a level confusion; and second, a fallacy of misconditionalisation. Furthermore, Fumerton’s principle leads to skepticism about inferential justification, for which reason it should be rejected. Instead, the examples Fumerton uses to motivate his principle can be accounted for using a different principle: in order for S to be justified in believing P on the basis of E, it must be true that E makes P probable. The latter principle can be independently motivated and does not lead to skepticism
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