Epicurus, determinism and the security of knowledge

Theoria 58 (2-3):183-196 (1992)
Abstract
The article criticises various interpretations of Epicurus's claim that belief in determinism is self-invalidating: - 'The man who says that all things come to pass by necessity cannot criticise one who denies that all things come to pass by necessity, for he admits that this too happens of necessity.' - especially Ted Honderich's argument that the real force of the Epicurean claim is that if belief acquisition is causally necessitated, we will be excluded from possible facts and inquiries that might have produced new knowledge and might have shown some of what we take to be knowledge to be false. Honderich's argument fails to consider that undetermined inquirers might fail to make discoveries that determined inquirers could not fail to make. Determinism would not, therefore, put us in a worse position as seekers of knowledge than indeterminism.
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