Kant’s aim in the Refutation of Idealism is to show that the temporal determination of inner experience presupposes outer experience. Commentators have rightly noted the extraordinarily compressed character of Kant's argument, and numerous gaps in the argument have been pointed out. In this paper I focus on two of these gaps and provide a reconstruction of Kant's argument that closes them.
The goal of this paper is to generalize specific techniques connected with refutation rules involving certain normal forms. In particular, a method of axiomatizing both a logic L and its complement −L is introduced.
In his Kant and the Claims of Knowledge, Paul Guyer offers an influential reading of Kant’s famous “Refutation of Idealism.” Guyer’s reading has been widely praised as Kantian exegesis but less favorably received as an anti-skeptical line of argument worthy of contemporary interest. In this paper, I focus on defending the general thrust of Guyer’s reading as a response to Cartesian skepticism. The paper falls into two sections. The first section constructs Guyer’s central argument in three steps and gives (...) it a quasi-formal presentation. That presentation reveals the principal obstacle to the argument’s being convincing to a contemporary audience, namely, its apparent reliance on Kant’s prohibition against psychological laws governing mental states. The second section constructs a lemma in defense of Guyer’s general line of attack. In effect, it suggests that that line does not depend on a metaphysical ban on psychological laws, but only on the modest premise that according to the Cartesian’s concept of knowledge such laws cannot justify claims about the temporal order of the self. (shrink)
This paper argues that the Refutation of Idealism is a clear development of a line of thought expressed in the Transcendental Deduction and the Fourth Paralogism in the 1781-edition of the Critique of Pure Reason. This general line of thought is that the possibility of systematic delusion about the nature of the empirical world is ruled out, in part, by the fact that illusion presupposes a background of veridical perception.
Abstract At Charmides 163, Critias attempts to extricate himself from refutation by proposing a Prodicean distinction between praxis and poiēsis . I argue that this distinction leads him further into contradictions.
Eliminative materialism is the position that common?sense psychology is false and that beliefs and desires, like witches and demons, do not exist. One of the most popular criticisms of this view is that it is self?refuting or, in some sense, incoherent. Hence, it is often claimed that eliminativism is not only implausible, but necessarily false. Below, I assess the merits of this objection and find it seriously wanting. I argue that the self?refutation objection is (at best) a misleading reformulation (...) of much more mundane objections to eliminativism and that, contrary to its advocates? endorsements, it adds nothing of genuine interest to the debate over the existence of prepositional attitudes. (shrink)
In a theoretical first part we attempt to articulate the notions of concession, refutation and negation for monological linguistic activity, on the basis among other things of Mœschler's work on conversation. We distinguish the illocutionary act of refutation and the complex intervention of refutation, concession-invention, concession-repetition and concession-quotation. In a second part we analyze the place and role of (descriptive) negation in counter-argumentative texts written by 8- to 12-year-old pupils and adults in an artificial situation. We consider (...) phenomena observed by certain “contradictory” properties of negation in the context of the task in question: namely potential help in generating content by mechanisms of the argumentative law of negation extended to predicates, negation takes the risk polyphonically of argumentative drift. This may explain the fact that it is so rare. (shrink)
Luca Castagnoli, Ancient Self-Refutation. The Logic and History of the Self- Refutation Argument from Democritus to Augustine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010, pp. XX+394. Hardback, ISBN 9780521896313. -/- Abstract. In his book Ancient Self-Refutation L. Castagnoli rightly observes that selfrefutation is not falsification; it overturns the act of assertion but does not prove that the content of the act is false. He argues against the widely spread belief that Sextus Empiricus accepted the self-refutation of his own (...) expressions. Castagnoli also claims that Sextus was effective in answering to the self-refutation charge. The achievement of the book is the disperitropécovery that in passages where Sextus seems to embrace the selfrefutation of his expressions (PH 1.14-15), he does not use the term peritropé, technical for self-refutation, but the term perigraphé, which means self-bracketing. Selfbracketing is weakening one’s own thesis, but not overturning it. Castagnoli claims that Sextus embraces the self-bracketing of his expressions, but never accepts their selfrefutation. However, Castagnoli is not right in saying that self-refutation is a shameful mistake for everybody. The mature skeptic cannot even think that self-refutation is wrong, because it would be a dogmatic view. Sextus seems to accept self-refutation at the end of Against the Logicians, where he presents the argument against proof and the metaphor of the ladder (M 8.480-1). Regardless of Sextus’ declarations, we have reason to think that he does not avoid self-refutation in a pragmatic sense. Self-bracketing of his position is not a consistent dialectical strategy, as Castagnoli writes, but the end of a rational discussion. Sextus avoids absolute self-refutation (we cannot falsify what he suggests), but he is unable to avoid pragmatic self-refutation (there is no way to assert his position without contradiction). This is the case even if Sextus refuses to assert his position. (shrink)
Popper's account of refutation is the linchpin of his famous view that the method of science is the method of conjecture and refutation. This thesis critically examines his account of refutation, and in particular the practice he deprecates as avoiding a refutation. I try to explain how he comes to hold the views that he does about these matters; how he seeks to make them plausible; how he has influenced others to accept his mistakes, and how (...) some of the ideas or responses to Popper of such people are thus similarly mistaken. I draw some distinctions necessary to the provision of an adequate account of the so-called practice of avoiding a refutation, and try to rid the debate about this practice of at least one red herring. I analyse one case of 'avoiding' a refutation in detail to show how the rationality of scientific practice eludes both Popper and many of his commentators. Popper's skepticism about contingent knowledge prevents him from providing an acceptable account of contingent refutation, and so his method is really the method of conjecture and conjecture. He cannot do without the concepts of knowledge and refutation, however, if his account of science is to be plausible or persuasive, and so he equivocates between, amongst other things, refutation as disproof and refutation as the weaker notion of discorroboration. I criticise David Stove's account of this matter, in particular to show how he misses this point. An additional advantage Popper would secure from this equivocation is that if refutations were mere discorroborations they would be easier to achieve, and hence more common in science, than is the case. On Popper's weak notion of refutation, it would be possible to refute true theories since corroboration does not entail truth. There are two other related doctrines Popper holds about refutation which, if accepted, make some refutations seem easier to obtain than is the case. I call these doctrines 'Strong Popperian Falsificationism' (SPF) and 'Weak Popperian Falsificationism' (WPF). SPF is the false doctrine that if a prediction from some theory is refuted then that theory is refuted. Popper does not always endorse SPF. In particular, when confronted with a counterexample to it, he retreats to WPF, which is the false doctrine that if a prediction from some theory is refuted then that theory is prima facie refuted. WPF , or even SPF, can seem plausible if one has in mind predictions derived from theories in strong or conclusive tests of those theories, which I suggest Popper characteristically does. v Popper is disposed to describe any such case of predictive failure which does not lead to the refutation of the theory concerned as one in which that refutation has been avoided. To reinforce his portrayal of the refutation, or the attempted refutation, of major scientific theories as the rational core of scientific practice, Popper treats the so-called practice of avoiding a refutation as untypical of science, and much so-called avoidance he dismisses as unscientific or pseudo-scientific. I argue that his notion of avoiding a refutation is incoherent. Popper is further driven to believe that such avoidance is possible, however, because he conflates sentences with propositions and propositions with propositional beliefs. Also, he wishes to avoid being saddled with the relativisim that is a consequence of his weak account of refutation as discorroboration. Popper believes that ad hoc hypotheses are the most important of the unscientific means of avoiding a refutation. I argue that his account of such hypotheses is also incoherent, and that several hypotheses thought to be ad hoc in his sense are not. Such hypotheses appear to be so largely because of Popper's use of rhetoric and partly because these hypotheses are unacceptable for other reasons. I conclude that to know that a hypothesis is ad hoc in Popper's sense does not illuminate scientific practice. Popper has also attempted to explicate ad hocness in terms of some undesirable, or allegedly undesirable, properties of hypotheses or the explanations they would provide. The first such property is circularity, which is undesirable; the second such property is reduction in empirical content, which is not. In the former case I argue that non-circularity is clearly preferable to non-ad hocness as a criterion for a satisfactory explanation or explanans, as the case may be, and in the latter case that Popper is barking up the wrong tree. Some cases of so-called avoidance are obviously not unscientific. The discovery of Neptune from a prediction based on the reasonable belief that there were residual perturbations in the motion of Uranus is an important case in point, and one that is much discussed in the literature. The manifest failure of astronomers to account for Uranus's motion did not lead to the refutation of Newton's law of gravitiation, yet significant scientific progress obviously did result. Retreating to WPF, Popper claims that Newton's law was prima facie refuted. In general, astronomers have never shared this view, and they are correct in not doing so. I argue that the law of gravitation would have been prima facie refuted only if there had been good reason at the time to believe as false what is true, namely, that an unknown trans-Uranian planet was the cause of those Uranian residuals. Knowledge of the trans-Uranian region was then so slight that it was merely a convenient assumption, one which there was little reason to believe was false, that the known influences on Uranus's motion were the only such influences. I conclude that in believing vi or supposing that it was this assumption that was false, rather than the law of gravitation, Leverrier and Adams, the co-predictors of Neptune, were acting rationally and intelligently. Popper's commentators offer a variety of accounts of the alleged practice of avoiding a refutation, and of this case in particular. I analyse a sample of their accounts to show how common is the acceptance of some of Popper's basic mistakes, even amongst those who claim to reject his falsificationism, and to display the effects on their accounts of this acceptance of his mistakes. Many commentators recognize that anomalies are typically dealt with by changes in the boundary conditions or in other of the auxiliary propositions employed. Where many still go wrong, however, is in retaining the presupposition of WPF which encouraged Popper to hold the contradictory view about anomalies in the first place. Thus Imre Lakatos and others, for example, have developed a 'siege mentality' about major scientific theories; they see them as under continual threat of refutation from anomalies, and so come to believe that dogmatism is essential in science if such theories are to survive as they do. I examine various such doomed attempts to reconcile Popper with the history of science. It is a common failure in this literature to conflate or to fail to see the need to distinguish a belief from a supposition, and an epistemic reason from a pragmatic reason. I argue that only if one does draw these distinctions can one give an adequate account of how anomalies are rationally dealt with in science. The other important strand in Popper's thinking about 'avoidance' of refutation which has seriously misled some of his commentators is his unfounded belief in the dangers of ad hoc hypotheses. I examine the accounts that a sample of such commentators provide of the trans-Uranian planet hypotheses of Leverrier and Adams. These commentators imply or assert what Popper only hints at, namely, that there is something fishy about this hypothesis. I provide a further defence of the rationality of entertaining this hypothesis at the time. I conclude with a few remarks about Popper's dilemma in respect of scientific practice and his long standing emphasis on refutations. (shrink)
The present paper explores three interrelated topics in Popper's theory of science: (1) his view of conjecture, (2) the aim of science, and (3) his (never fully articulated) theory of meaning. Central to Popper's theory of science is the notion of conjecture. Popper writes as if scientists faced with a problem proceed to tackle it by conjecture, that is, by guesses uninformed by inferential considerations. This paper develops a contrast between guesses and educated guesses in an attempt to show that (...) there is more to scientific conjecture than conjecture. The suggestion is made that some inductive considerations enter into the process of educated guessing or scientific conjecture in such a way that the ‘context of discovery’ cannot be sharply separated from the ‘context of justification’. This discussion leads to a tension between Popper's negative method of conjecture and his realism. Given Popper's (implicit) theory of meaning it seems Popper's epistemology (the conjecture and refutation method) is incompatible with his metaphysical realism. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to study the refutation system consisting of the refutation axiom p ∧ ¬p → q and the refutation rules: reverse substitution and reverse modus ponens (B/A, if A → B ∈ RM). It is shown that the refutation system is characteristic for the logic of the 3-element RM algebra.
Plato argues, at Theaetetus 170e-171c, that Protagoras’ relativism is self-refuting. This argument, known as the ‘exquisite argument’, and its merits have been the subject of much controversy over the past few decades. Burnyeat (1976b) has argued in defense of Plato’s argument, but his reconstruction of the argument has been criticized as question-begging. After offering an interpretation of Protagoras’ relativism, I argue that the exquisite argument is successful, for reasons that Burnyeat hints at but fails to develop sufficiently. I consider Protagorean (...) relativism under both of the two possible readings with respect to its scope: global relativism, according to which all truths are only relatively true, and qualified relativism, according to which the relativistic thesis itself is excepted. Taking into consideration some contemporary work on relativism and self-refutation, I show that Plato’s argument succeeds on both of these readings. Given that Protagoras could avoid self-contradiction simply by denying that an enduring subject exists, I argue that the exquisite argument is best understood as confronting Protagoras with a dilemma between self-contradiction and self-defeat of various sorts, all of which lead to the same result, that Protagoras violates the requirements of rational discourse in such a way that he becomes an absurd figure who has nothing to say to us. (shrink)
A 'self-refutation argument' is any argument which aims at showing that a certain thesis is self-refuting. This study was the first book-length treatment of ancient self-refutation and provides a unified account of what is distinctive in the ancient approach to the self-refutation argument, on the basis of close philological, logical and historical analysis of a variety of sources. It examines the logic, force and prospects of this original style of argumentation within the context of ancient philosophical debates, (...) dispelling various misconceptions concerning its nature and purpose and elucidating some important differences which exist both within the ancient approach to self-refutation and between that approach, as a whole, and some modern counterparts of it. In providing a comprehensive account of ancient self-refutation, the book advances our understanding of influential and debated texts and arguments from philosophers like Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, the Academic sceptics, the Pyrrhonists and Augustine. (shrink)
Luca Castagnoli, Ancient Self-Refutation. The Logic and History of the Self- Refutation Argument from Democritus to Augustine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010, pp. XX+394. Hardback, ISBN 9780521896313. In his book Ancient Self-Refutation L. Castagnoli rightly observes that selfrefutation is not falsification; it overturns the act of assertion but does not prove that the content of the act is false. He argues against the widely spread belief that Sextus Empiricus accepted the self-refutation of his own expressions. Castagnoli (...) also claims that Sextus was effective in answering to the self-refutation charge. The achievement of the book is the discovery that in passages where Sextus seems to embrace the selfrefutation of his expressions (PH 1.14-15), he does not use the term peritropé, technical for self-refutation, but the term perigraphé, which means self-bracketing. Selfbracketing is weakening one’s own thesis, but not overturning it. Castagnoli claims that Sextus embraces the self-bracketing of his expressions, but never accepts their selfrefutation. However, Castagnoli is not right in saying that self-refutation is a shameful mistake for everybody. The mature skeptic cannot even think that self-refutation is wrong, because it would be a dogmatic view. Sextus seems to accept self-refutation at the end of Against the Logicians, where he presents the argument against proof and the metaphor of the ladder (M 8.480-1). Regardless of Sextus’ declarations, we have reason to think that he does not avoid self-refutation in a pragmatic sense. Self-bracketing of his position is not a consistent dialectical strategy, as Castagnoli writes, but the end of a rational discussion. Sextus avoids absolute self-refutation (we cannot falsify what he suggests), but he is unable to avoid pragmatic self-refutation (there is no way to assert his position without contradiction). This is the case even if Sextus refuses to assert his position. (shrink)
In the paper rejection systems for a system of nonsense-logic are investigated. The first rejection system consists of four rejected axioms and only one rejection rule the rule of rejection by detachment. The second one consists of one rejected axiom and two rejection rules: the rule of rejection by detachment and the rule of rejection by substitution. The aim of the paper is to present also a proof of Ł-decidability for the considered systems.
While there is good reason to think that Mendelssohn's Morgenstunden targets some of the key claims of Kant’s first Critique, this criticism has yet to be considered in the appropriate context or presented in all of its systematic detail. I show that far from being an isolated assault, Mendelssohn’s attack in the Morgenstunden is a continuation and development of his earlier criticism of Kant’s idealism as presented in the Inaugural Dissertation. I also show that Mendelssohn’s objection was more influential on (...) Kant than has previously been suspected; not only did Kant respond to it in a brief review and a set of remarks published along with a disciple’s examination of Mendelssohn’s text but, as I will suggest, Kant’s Refutation of Idealism is intended (at least in part) to undermine the Cartesian starting-point Mendelssohn had presumed throughout his campaign against Kantian idealism. (shrink)
In a recent article, David Kyle Johnson has claimed to have provided a ‘refutation’ of skeptical theism. Johnson’s refutation raises several interesting issues. But in this note, I focus on only one—an implicit principle Johnson uses in his refutation to update probabilities after receiving new evidence. I argue that this principle is false. Consequently, Johnson’s refutation, as it currently stands, is undermined.
This paper assesses the role of the Refutation of Idealism within the Critique of Pure Reason, as well as its relation to the treatment of idealism in the First Edition and to transcendental idealism more generally. It is argued that the Refutation is consistent with the Fourth Paralogism and that it can be considered as an extension of the Transcendental Deduction. While the Deduction, considered on its own, constitutes a 'regressive argument', the Refutation allows us to turn (...) the Transcendental Analytic into a 'progressive argument' that proceeds by the synthetic method. (shrink)
Our moral convictions cannot, on the face of it, count in evidence against scientific claims with which they happen to conflict. Moral anti-realists of whatever stripe can explain this easily: science is immune to moral refutation because moral discourse is defective as a trustworthy source of true and objective judgments. Moral realists, they can add, are unable to explain this immunity. After describing how anti-realists might implement this reasoning, the paper argues that the only plausible realist comeback turns on (...) the practical nature of moral reasoning. This comeback, however, places significant constraints on the structure of evidence for moral judgments. These constraints cannot be met by coherentist defenders of reflective-equilibrium methodology or by anyone sympathetic to bottom-up, case-driven foundationalism, including those who claim we have perceptual or perception-like access to moral truths. Unfortunately for realists in these categories, alternative realism-friendly accounts of science’s apparent moral immunity are unpromising. These neither explain nor explain away our unwillingness to infer an is from an ought, as Hume might have put it. Science’s apparent immunity to moral refutation therefore poses a serious problem for any realist unhappy with top-down, theory-driven conceptions of the structure of moral evidence. (shrink)
Many philosophers have been puzzled by Kant's decision to insert the Refutation of Idealism into the second edition of the first Critique at the end of his elucidation of the Second Postulate. This article proposes a solution to the puzzle. It defends an explanation for the location of Kant's Refutation of Idealism that is plausibly expressed by Kant's claim at the end of his elucidation of the Second Postulate that the Refutation of Idealism is ‘here in its (...) right place’ because ‘[a] powerful objection against these rules for proving existence indirectly is made by idealism’. According to this explanation, the Refutation of Idealism is Kant's response to the objection that the Second Postulate must be false since otherwise idealism is true. This article also considers and rejects a number of alternative explanations for the location of Kant's Refutation of Idealism. (shrink)
This essay is intended to be a refutation of the main thesis in Against Intellectual Property, Kinsella 2008 (hereafter, K8). Points of agreement, relatively trivial disagreement, and irrelevant issues will largely be ignored, as will much repetition of errors in K8. Otherwise, the procedure is to go through K8 quoting various significantly erroneous parts as they arise and explaining the errors involved. It will not be necessary to respond at the same length as K8 itself.
This chapter focuses on the confirmation, refutation, and evidence of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, and discusses the application of neuroimaging techniques to various fields, including cognitive sciences. It addresses the question of the role of neuroimaging data in providing informative evidence regarding hypotheses in cognitive science and explains differences in data, high-level null hypotheses, and ways to accommodate null hypotheses. Finally, the chapter looks into the scope of neuroimaging data in the cognitive sciences.
John Taylor complains that the "Kalam" cosmological argument gives the appearance of being a swift and simple demonstration of the existence of a Creator of the universe, whereas in fact a convincing argument involving the premiss that the universe began to exist is very difficult to achieve. But Taylor's proffered defeaters of the premisses of the philosophical arguments for the beginning of the universe are themselves typically undercut due to Taylor's inadvertence to alternatives open to the defender of the "Kalam" (...) arguments. With respect to empirical confirmation of the universe's beginning Taylor is forced into an anti-realist position on the Big Bang theory, but without sufficient warrant for singling out the theory as non-realistic. Therefore, despite the virtue of simplicity of form, the "Kalam" cosmological argument has not been defeated by Taylor's all too swift refutation. (shrink)
An argument against multiply instantiable universals is considered in neglected essays by Stanislaw Lesniewski and I.M. Bochenski. Bochenski further applies Lesniewski's refutation of universals by maintaining that identity principles for individuals must be different than property identity principles. Lesniewski's argument is formalized for purposes of exact criticism and shown to involve both a hidden vicious circularity in the form of impredicative definitions and explicit self-defeating consequences. Syntactical restrictions on Leibnizian indiscernibility of identicals are recommended to forestall Lesniewski's paradox.
This paper contends that Kant’s argument in the Refutation of Idealism section of the Critique of Pure Reason misses a step which allows Kant to move illicitly from inner experience to outer objects. The argument for persistent outer objects does not comprehensively address the skeptic’s doubts as it leaves room for the question about the necessary connection between representations and outer objects. A second fundamental issue is the ability of transcendental idealism to deliver the account of outer objects, as (...) required by the Refutation of Idealism itself. (shrink)
This paper considers whether Hegel's master/slave dialectic in the Phenomenology of Spirit should be considered as a refutation of solipsism. It focuses on a recent and detailed attempt to argue for this sort of reading that has been proposed by Frederick Beiser ? but it argues that this reading is unconvincing, both in the historical motivations given for it in the work of Jacobi and Fichte, and as an interpretation of the text itself. An alternative reading of the dialectic (...) is proposed, where it is argued that the central problem Hegel is concerned with is not solipsism, but the sociality of freedom. (shrink)
We present a setting in which the search for a proof of B or a refutation of B can be carried out simultaneously: in contrast, the usual approach in automated deduction views proving B or proving ¬B as two, possibly unrelated, activities. Our approach to proof and refutation is described as a two-player game in which each player follows the same rules. A winning strategy translates to a proof of the formula and a counter-winning strategy translates to a (...)refutation of the formula. The game is described for multiplicative and additive linear logic . A game theoretic treatment of the multiplicative connectives is intricate and our approach to it involves two important ingredients. First, labeled graph structures are used to represent positions in a game and, second, the game playing must deal with the failure of a given player and with an appropriate resumption of play. This latter ingredient accounts for the fact that neither player might win. (shrink)
The thesis of this paper is that consequentialism does not work as a comprehensive theory of right action. This paper does not offer a typical refutation, in that I do not claim that consequentialism is self-contradictory. One can with perfect consistency claim that the good is prior to the right and that the right consists in maximizing the good. What I claim, however, is that it is senseless to make such a claim. In particular, I attempt to show that (...) the notion of what course of action maximizes the good has no content within a consequentialist framework. Since the problem that I identify rests with maximization, this refutation does not cut across the act/rule distinction. If rule consequentialism holds that there are occasions on which one should follow a rule rather than violate the rule in an optimific way, then it is not maximizing and my arguments do not apply; if not, then it collapses into act consequentialism. I have nothing to say about nonmaximizing forms of consequentialism.1 This refutation does, however, cut across the direct/indirect distinction.2 It makes no difference whether we take consequentialism as offering a principle of decision, or a standard of right. Presumably the former would be parasitic upon the latter for its legitimacy. (shrink)
Taking the possibility of visual argumentation seriously, this essay explores how refutation might proceed. We posit three ways in which images can refute and be refuted in a mixed-media environment: dissection, in which an image is broken down discursively; substitution, in which one image is replaced within a larger visual frame by a different image; and transformation, in which an image is recontextualized in a new visual frame. These strategies are illustrated in an analysis of three American documentary films (...) on abortion. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the dialogues between 'Protagoras', Theodorus and Socrates in "Theaetetus" 161-171 and emphasise the importance for this passage of a dilemma which refutation is shown to pose for relativism at 161e-162a. I argue that the two speeches delivered on Protagoras' behalf contain material that is deeply Socratic and suggest that this feature of the speeches should be interpreted as part of Plato's philosophical case against relativism, reflecting the relativist's own inability to defend his theory from (...) attempts to refute it. I then discuss Theodorus' role in the refutation of Protagoras and argue that his voice is needed to get relativism disproved in the self-refutation argument of 171a-c. I conclude with a brief discussion of the image of Protagoras at 171d. (shrink)
The following argument presents a refutation of the existence of God under a certain description, which, it will be maintained, is the only description that most traditional monotheists could accept. Therefore, either God, as defined by traditional monotheism, does not exist or something that might be called ‘God’ exists, but would not be acceptable to monotheism as truly being God. Either way, God does not exist. 1.
In this paper I argue, using two case studies of episodes from recent physics against the contingency view advocated by social constructionists. In this view, physics, or science in general, is, in Ian Hacking’s words, not determined by anything. Much of the previous discussion has centered on examples of scientific success. In this paper I argue that experimental evidence and reasoned and critical discussion played the crucial role in the refutation of a previously strongly believed hypothesis, and in the (...) decision that a proposed new elementary particle did not exist, leaving no reasonable doubt. I suggest that the argument against contingency does not require the absence of all possible doubt, but rather the absence of reasonable doubt.Keywords: Contingency; Refutation; 17-keV neutrino; Parity nonconservation. (shrink)
In what follows I will address Kant’s concerns in the First Analogy and in the Refutation of Idealism. Because the two discussions have a similar trajectory, it is of interest to identify some of the differences between them. As we will see, the manifest differences are indicative of more significant underlying differences, regarding two ways of construing transcendental proofs.
LetL be any modal or tense logic with the finite model property. For eachm, definer L (m) to be the smallest numberr such that for any formulaA withm modal operators,A is provable inL if and only ifA is valid in everyL-model with at mostr worlds. Thus, the functionr L determines the size of refutation Kripke models forL. In this paper, we will give an estimation ofr L (m) for some linear modal and tense logicsL.
I will discuss Kant 's arguments in these section in three parts. In Part I, I will try to show how we can make sense of the obviously close relations in theme and content between the Refutation of Idealism and the two version of the Fourth Paralogism, as well as the second Postulate of Empirical Thought. This will serve as a kind of introduction, since on a cursory first reading, the connections might be far from apparent. In the process, (...) I will try to isolate a few basic. (shrink)
This Article is a short response to Anders Tolland's "Iterated Non-Refutation: Robert Lockie on Relativism", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 14, no. 2, 245-254, 2006. Tolland's article was itself a response to Lockie, R (2003) "Relativism and Reflexivity", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 11, no. 3, 319-339.
Galileo's refutation of the speed-distance law of fall in his Two New Sciences is routinely dismissed as a moment of confused argumentation. We urge that Galileo's argument correctly identified why the speed-distance law is untenable, failing only in its very last step. Using an ingenious combination of scaling and self-similarity arguments, Galileo found correctly that bodies, falling from rest according to this law, fall all distances in equal times. What he failed to recognize in the last step is that (...) this time is infinite, the result of an exponential dependence of distance on time. Instead, Galileo conflated it with the other motion that satisfies this ‘equal time’ property, instantaneous motion. (shrink)
Complete deductive systems are constructed for the non-valid (refutable) formulae and sequents of some propositional modal logics. Thus, complete syntactic characterizations in the sense of Lukasiewicz are established for these logics and, in particular, purely syntactic decision procedures for them are obtained. The paper also contains some historical remarks and a general discussion on refutation systems.
In (Noûs, 47), I defend a version of the Refutation, pioneered by Paul Guyer in Kant and the Claims of Knowledge, whose core idea is that the only way that one can know the order of one's own past experiences, except in certain rare cases, is by correlating them with the successive states of perceived external objects that caused the experiences. Andrew Chignell has offered a probing critique of my reconstruction of Kant's argument (Philosophical Quarterly, 60), and I have (...) responded (Philosophical Quarterly, 61). In a rebuttal of my response, Chignell raises three new objections (Philosophical Quarterly, 61). My purpose in this paper is to reply to these. (shrink)
SummaryThis paper attempts to develop an interpretation of Kant's transcendental idealism which is based upon his critique of transcendental realism . It is argued that given Kant's transcendental distinction, all non‐ or pre‐critical philosophies, even Berkeleian phenomenalism are transcendentally realistic. This paradoxical result is used as the basis for an analysis of Kant's resolution of the mathematical antinomies, wherein this resolution is seen both as an “indirect proof” of transcendental idealism and as a refutation of transcendental realism. Finally, it (...) is claimed that Kant's idealism, at least insofar as it is established by means of a refutation of transcendental realism, is methodological rather than metaphysical, viz. it involves a claim about how the sensible world is to be considered in transcendental reflection, not a claim about the “real nature” of this world.RésuméCet article essaye de développer une interprétation de l'idéalisme transcendental de Kant, interprétation basée sur sa critique du réalisme transcendental . L'auteur montre que, si l'on accepte la distinction transcendentale de Kant, toutes les philosophies non critiques et précritiques sont transcendentalement réalistes, y compris le phénoménalisme de Berkeley. A partir de ce résultat paradoxal, il analyse la manière dont Kant résoud les antinomies mathématiques: cette résolution apparaît à la fois comme preuve indirecte de l'idéalisme transcendental et comme une réfutation du réalisme transcendental. L'auteur est finalement d'avis que l'idéalisme de Kant, du moins lorsqu'il est justifié par une réfutation du réalisme transcendental, est plus méthodologique que métaphysique, c'est‐à‐dire qu'il déclare comment le monde sensible doit être considéré dans la réflexion transcendentale et non quelle est la véritable nature de ce monde.ZusammenfassungEs wird versucht, eine Interpretation von Kants transzendentalem Idealismus zu entwickeln, die auf seiner Kritik am transzendentalen Realismus — verstanden als derjenige Standpunkt, der systematisch Erscheinung und Ding an sich verwechselt — beruht. Es wird argumentiert, dass — einmal Kants transzendentale Unterscheidung angenommen — aile früheren, vorkritischen Systeme der Philosophie einschliesslich Berkeleys Phänomenalismus transzendental realistisch sind. Dieses paradoxale Ergebnis wird als Basis für eine Analyse von Kants Auflösung der mathematischen Antinomien verwendet, wobei dièse Auflösung sowohl als ein indirekter Beweis für den transzendentalen Idealismus als auch als eine Widerlegung des transzendentalen Realismus gedeutet wird. Es wird schliesslich nahegelegt, dass Kants Idealismus, sofern wenigstens als er sich auf Widerlegung des transzendentalen Realismus abstützt, mehr ein rnethodologischer als ein metaphysischer Idealismus ist. Er statuiert eher über die Art, wie die Sinneswelt in einer transzendentalen Reflexion betrachtet werden soll, als über die Frage, wie die Welt wirklich beschaffen sei. (shrink)
This paper carries forward the discussion initiated by the publication in 1986 of “A Refutation of Middle Knowledge.” Answers are given to two objections that have been raised against the original argument. Next, an alternative argument by Robert Adams is discussed; this argument has the advantage of avoiding reliance on one of the most controversial premises of the original argument. Finally, a definition is given for “S brings it about that Y,” and this definition is used to construct a (...) proof of the “power entailment principle.”. (shrink)