BonJour on explanation and skepticism

Jonathan Vogel
Amherst College
Laurence BonJour, among others, has argued that inference to the best explanation allows us to reject skeptical hypotheses in favor of our common-sense view of the world. BonJour considers several skeptical hypotheses, specifically: our experiences arise by mere chance, uncaused; the simple hypothesis which states merely that our experiences are caused unveridically; and an elaborated hypothesis which explains in detail how our unveridical experiences are brought about. A central issue is whether the coherence of one’s experience makes that experience more likely to be veridical. BonJour’s recent treatment of “analog” and “digital” skeptical hypotheses is also discussed. I argue that, although there are important lessons to be learned from BonJour’s writings, his use of inference to the best explanation against skepticism is unsuccessful.Keywords: BonJour; Explanation; Inference to the best explanation; Skepticism; Confirmation; Probability; Coherence; External world
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.10.008
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References found in this work BETA

Ramseyan Humility.David Lewis - 2009 - In David Braddon-Mitchell & Robert Nola (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism. MIT Press. pp. 203-222.
Evidential Symmetry and Mushy Credence.Roger White - 2009 - In T. Szabo Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 161-186.
The Abductivist Reply to Skepticism.James R. Beebe - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):605-636.

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