The Abductivist Reply to Skepticism

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):605-636 (2009)
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Abstract

Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.

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James R. Beebe
University at Buffalo

References found in this work

The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Laws and symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Science, Perception and Reality.Wilfrid Sellars (ed.) - 1963 - New York,: Humanities Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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