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The problem of induction and the problem of other minds: a proposed solution

Peddle, Laurence 2011. The problem of induction and the problem of other minds: a proposed solution. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Summary In chapter one I reject the thesis that a relation of partial entailment holds between probability evidence and conclusion, as also the claim that the propositions of applied geometry are synthetic a priori. By way of balance, I suggest that there may be a sense in which necessary conditions of discourse transcend the distinction between a priori and empirical. In chapter two I reject the claim that logical relations in the form of intrinsic probability enter into the no-miracles argument, which I suggest is frequency-connected in its more systematic applications, so that it belongs within a system. I begin chapter three with a critique of an attempted formal probability solution to Hume’s problem, and I now suggest that inductive inference has application only within a system in which its validity is pre-supposed in its premises, a concomitant of which is that the sceptic about induction cannot stop short of global scepticism. Since my aim is to show that global scepticism is self-refuting, given that intentionality may be analysed in terms of a system, I now develop that analysis by devoting chapter four to an examination of Wittgenstein on meaning and understanding. In chapter five I reject his thesis equating meaning and understanding with use, arguing instead that they are irreducible and subject to dispositionality conditions, and in furtherance of that argument I try to solve the problem of the authoritativeness of belief avowals by showing again that there are necessary conditions of discourse. These are such that selfascribing belief, crediting oneself with understanding and with being suitably disposed, are inherent in reasoning. In chapter six I weave the threads of the previous discussion into a solution by arguing that the sceptic about induction, who is committed to global scepticism, necessarily refutes himself. In chapter seven, on the problem of other minds, I attempt a solution by modifying the arguments used against inductive scepticism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:22

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