Synthese 195 (7):3121-3141 (2018)

Authors
Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland
Abstract
Deductive Cogency holds that the set of propositions towards which one has, or is prepared to have, a given type of propositional attitude should be consistent and closed under logical consequence. While there are many propositional attitudes that are not subject to this requirement, e.g. hoping and imagining, it is at least prima facie plausible that Deductive Cogency applies to the doxastic attitude involved in propositional knowledge, viz. belief. However, this thought is undermined by the well-known preface paradox, leading a number of philosophers to conclude that Deductive Cogency has at best a very limited role to play in our epistemic lives. I argue here that Deductive Cogency is still an important epistemic requirement, albeit not as a requirement on belief. Instead, building on a distinction between belief and acceptance introduced by Jonathan Cohen and recent developments in the epistemology of understanding, I propose that Deductive Cogency applies to the attitude of treating propositions as given in the context of attempting to understand a given phenomenon. I then argue that this simultaneously accounts for the plausibility of the considerations in favor of Deductive Cogency and avoids the problematic consequences of the preface paradox.
Keywords deductive consistency  deductive closure  the preface paradox  belief versus acceptance  epistemology of understanding
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1365-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

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Citations of this work BETA

Scientific Progress, Understanding, and Knowledge: Reply to Park.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):451-459.

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