David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophical Research 26:561-569 (2001)
Recent commentaries on “The Fixation of Belief” have located and emphasized an inconsistency or “tension” in Peirce’s central argument. On the one hand, Peirce maintains that “the settlement of opinion is the sole object of inquiry”; on the other, he wants to establish that the method of science is superior to all other methods of inquiry. The tension arises from the fact that whereas Peirce dismisses the methods of tenacity, authority, and a priority on the grounds that they cannot fulfill the “sole object of inquiry,” his defense of the scientific method makes no appeal to its ability to “settle opinion.” In this paper, the author reconstructs Peirce’s argument in a way that resolves this tension
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