The Counterexample Fallacy

Mind 120 (480):1143-1158 (2012)
Manley and Wasserman (2008) join the chorus of opposition to the possibility of conditional analysis of dispositions. But that score cannot be settled without more careful attention to the implicit philosophical methodology. Some of the opposition to such an analysis badly overestimates the effect of counterexamples, as if the Gettier example were sufficient to refute the possibility of conjunctive analysis of knowledge. A general objection to a form of analysis must satisfy a number of constraints, and Manley and Wasserman join the chorus too in failing to satisfy them. Most significant is the optional presupposition that the conditional used in analysis will exhibit some sort of centring. We show that even a careful effort to repair and reform Manley and Wasserman's objection to provide a satisfactory argument requires, ultimately, appeal to centring. Worse, the particular positive proposal they offer is vulnerable to a minor variant of their own counterexample
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzs001
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David Manley (2012). Dispositionality: Beyond The Biconditionals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):321 - 334.
Ryan Wasserman (2011). Dispositions and Generics. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):425-453.

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