Synthese 131 (1):39-56 (2002)

Wolfgang Spohn
University of Konstanz
In this paper two theories of defeasible reasoning, Pollock's account and my theory of ranking functions, are compared, on a strategic level, since a strictly formal comparison would have been unfeasible. A brief summary of the accounts shows their basic difference: Pollock's is a strictly computational one, whereas ranking functions provide a regulative theory. Consequently, I argue that Pollock's theory is normatively defective, unable to provide a theoretical justification for its basic inference rules and thus an independent notion of admissible rules. Conversely, I explain how quite a number of achievements of Pollock's account can be adequately duplicated within ranking theory. The main purpose of the paper, though, is not to settle a dispute with formal epistemology, but rather to emphasize the importance of formal methods to the whole of epistemology.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1015004212541
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Belief.Jaakko Hintikka - 1962 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Knowledge in Flux.Henry E. Kyburg & Peter Gardenfors - 1993 - Noûs 27 (4):519-521.

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Logic, Reasoning, Argumentation: Insights From the Wild.Frank Zenker - 2018 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 27 (4):421-451.
Degrees of Doxastic Justification.Moritz Schulz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-30.

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