Erkenntnis

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 639–667 | Cite as

Possibility, Necessity and Probability: A Meditation on Underdetermination and Justification

Original Article

Abstract

After providing some historical and systematic background, I introduce the structure of a very natural and influential sceptical underdetermination argument. The argument assumes that it is metaphysically possible for a deceived subject to have the same evidence that a non-deceived subject has, and tries to draw consequences about justification from that assumption of metaphysical possibility. I first variously object to the transition from the assumption to its supposed consequences. In the central part of the paper, I then critically consider some influential ways of bridging the gap between the assumption and its supposed consequences, which generally consist in strengthening the assumption from one of metaphysical possibility into one of either counterfactual implication or entailment. The discussion indicates that epistemic facts are much more independent from metaphysically modal facts than the sceptical underdetermination argument requires.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LOGOS, Logic, Language and Cognition Research Group, Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Northern Institute of Philosophy, Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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