, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 425–436 | Cite as

The Problem of Unconceived Objections

  • Moti Mizrahi


In this paper, I argue that, just as the problem of unconceived alternatives provides a basis for a New Induction on the History of Science to the effect that a realist view of science is unwarranted, the problem of unconceived objections provides a basis for a New Induction on the History of Philosophy to the effect that a realist view of philosophy is unwarranted. I raise this problem not only for skepticism’s sake but also for the sake of making a point about philosophical argumentation, namely, that anticipating objections to one’s claim is not the same as supporting one’s claim. In other words, defending p from objections does not amount to support or evidence for p. This, in turn, presents dialectical and pragma-dialectical approaches to argumentation with the following question: does proper argumentation require that arguers anticipate and respond to unconceived objections?


Anti-realism Argument Argumentation Dialectics Pragma-dialectics Problem of unconceived alternatives Problem of unconceived objections 



I am very grateful to two reviewers of Argumentation for invaluable comments on earlier drafts.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentSt. John’s UniversityQueensUSA

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