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Common Sense, Science and Scepticism : A Historical Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge - Professor Alan Musgrave

Common Sense, Science and Scepticism

A Historical Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge

Paperback Published: 12th April 1993
ISBN: 9780521436250
Number Of Pages: 328

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Can we know anything for certain? There are those who think we can (traditionally labeled the "dogmatists") and those who think we cannot (traditionally labeled the "skeptics"). The theory of knowledge, or epistemology, is the great debate between the two. This book is an introductory and historically-based survey of the debate. It sides for the most part with the skeptics. It also develops out of skepticism a third view, fallibilism or critical rationalism, which incorporates an uncompromising realism about perception, science, and the nature of truth.

"The treatment of basic issues in epistemology is quite nicely done, and although the book is intended as an introduction, it is not confined to the coverage of elementary topics. Musgrave does devote a good deal of space to the discussion of such standard epistemological material as skepticism, but he also includes interesting, elegant, and informative summaries of problems and theories in logic, semantics, and the philosophy of mathematics. The book can be read profitably by anyone with an interest in epistemology and its history." Douglas M. Jesseph, Isis

Prefacep. xii
Acknowledgementsp. xiv
The problem of knowledgep. 1
Knowledge as justified true beliefp. 2
Some objections to the justified true belief accountp. 5
Dogmatism, scepticism and infinite regressesp. 10
Stopping the regresses: empiricism and rationalismp. 13
Scepticism under attackp. 19
Is scepticism consistent?p. 19
Is scepticism impractical?p. 23
Does scepticism matter?p. 25
Scepticism regarding the sensesp. 30
Sextus Empiricus versus empiricismp. 30
An Aristotelian replyp. 35
How belief and experience interactp. 37
The problem of perceptual errorp. 43
Bacon's curep. 48
Observation is theory-ladenp. 54
Empiricist psychologyp. 60
The bucket theory of the mindp. 62
Tradition and the importance of languagep. 63
Language learningp. 68
The role of repetitionp. 72
Innate ideas or inborn know-how?p. 75
Idea-ism, appearance and realityp. 85
A new empiricism--idea-ismp. 85
Reifying the datap. 89
The causal theory of perception and the time-lapse argumentp. 91
The sceptic fights back--appearance and reality againp. 99
Primary and secondary qualitiesp. 107
The distinction before Lockep. 108
Locke's theoryp. 112
Are secondary qualities subjective?p. 116
Berkeley's critique of Lockep. 118
Berkeley: idea-ism becomes idealismp. 121
How to turn appearance into realityp. 121
Immaterialismp. 126
God and other mindsp. 132
Immaterialism, phenomenalism and sciencep. 140
Hume: idea-ism becomes irrationalismp. 145
Hume's irrationalismp. 145
Hume and external objectsp. 147
Hume's inductive scepticismp. 151
Countering Hume on inductionp. 157
The appeal to inductive principlesp. 157
Probabilismp. 161
The 'No true Scotsman' ployp. 166
Non-deductivismp. 169
Deductivismp. 170
The rationalist alternativep. 176
The rationalist paradigm--Euclidp. 177
Why mathematical knowledge is a problem for empiricistsp. 181
Three sceptical objectionsp. 190
Rationalism defended: Descartesp. 194
Systematic doubt and the Cogitop. 195
Metaphysical doubt and the evil geniusp. 202
God and the Cartesian circlep. 205
Kant and the synthetic a priorip. 212
Kant's questionp. 212
Kant's answerp. 214
Kant's idealismp. 219
Alternative geometriesp. 224
How non-Euclidean geometries were inventedp. 224
Why non-Euclidean geometries are philosophically importantp. 232
Logical empiricists take comfortp. 235
Platonism and logicism about mathematicsp. 241
Truth and truth-theoriesp. 247
The problem of truth and its common-sense solutionp. 247
Subjective truth-theoriesp. 249
Tarski's T-schemep. 256
Conceptual idealismp. 263
The liar paradox and Godel's incompleteness theoremp. 269
Fallibilist realismp. 274
Sophisticated indirect realism about perceptionp. 274
Scepticism, irrationalism and fallibilismp. 280
Fallibilism and the grue problemp. 287
New objectionsp. 294
Conjectural knowledgep. 298
Referencesp. 301
Indexp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521436250
ISBN-10: 0521436257
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 12th April 1993
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 13.97  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.43