Some skeptical theists use Wykstra’s CORNEA constraint to undercut Rowe-style inductive arguments from evil. Many critics of skeptical theism accept CORNEA, but argue that Rowe-style arguments meet its constraint. But Justin McBrayer argues that CORNEA is itself mistaken. It is, he claims, akin to “sensitivity” or “truth-tracking” constraints like those of Robert Nozick; but counterexamples show that inductive evidence is often insensitive. We here defend CORNEA against McBrayer’s chief counterexample. We first clarify CORNEA, distinguishing it from a deeper underlying principle (...) that we dub “CORE.” We then give both principles a probabilistic construal, and show how, on this construal, the counterexample fails. (shrink)
What we call “the evidential argument from evil” is not one argument but a family of them, originating (perhaps) in the 1979 formulation of William Rowe. Wykstra’s early versions of skeptical theism emerged in response to Rowe’s evidential arguments. But what sufficed as a response to Rowe may not suffice against later more sophisticated versions of the problem of evil—in particular, those along the lines pioneered by Paul Draper. Our chief aim here is to make an earlier version of skeptical (...) theism more responsive to the type abductive atheology pioneered by Draper. In particular, we suggest a moderate form of skeptical theism may be able to resist Draper’s abductive atheology. (shrink)
Graham and Maitzen think my CORNEA principle is in trouble because it entails “intolerable violations of closure under known entailment.” I argue that the trouble arises from current befuddlement about closure itself, and that a distinction drawn by Rudolph Carnap, suitably extended, shows how closure, when properly understood, works in tandem with CORNEA. CORNEA does not obey Closure because it shouldn’t: it applies to “dynamic” epistemic operators, whereas closure principles hold only for “static” ones. What the authors see as an (...) intolerable vice of CORNEA is actually a virtue, helping us see what closure principles should—and shouldn’t—themselves be about. (shrink)
Schellenberg’s Wisdom to Doubt uses a “meta-evidential condition constraining assent” that I dub MECCA. On MECCA, my total current evidence E may be good evidence for H, yet not justify my believing H, due to meta-evidential considerations giving me reason to doubt whether E is “representative” of the total evidence E* that exists. I argue that considerations of representativeness are implicit in judging that E is good evidence, rendering this description incoherent, and that Schellenberg’s specific meta-evidence has less trumping power (...) than he thinks. (shrink)
Using Currie's critique as a foil, this paper reconstructs Lakatos's thesis that historiography of science is laden with normative assumptions about scientific rationality. It is argued that this thesis comprises both a heuristic claim and a constitutive claim. The Received Critique of Lakatos fails to see that "internal history" and "rational reconstruction" receive a special meaning (by which they designate "rational preconstructions") when used in the context of the heuristic claim. Currie avoids this mistake, but attributes to Lakatos an "investigation-surrogate (...) claim" which misrepresents the heuristic claim, oversimplifying the relation Lakatos envisions between hard cores and the solutions they generate. (shrink)
How can the philosopher use history of science to assess normative methodologies? This paper distinguishes the "intuitionist" meta-methodologies from the "rationability" meta-methodology. The rationability approach is defended by showing that it does not lead to anarchistic conclusions drawn by Feyerabend, Lakatos, and Kuhn; rather, these conclusions are the result of auxiliary assumptions about the nature of rational norms. By freeing the rationability meta-method from these assumptions, the specter of anarchism can be exorcised from it.