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Synthese

pp 1–20 | Cite as

Inferring as a way of knowing

  • Nicholas Koziolek
S.I. : Knowledge and Justification, New Perspectives

Abstract

Plausibly, an inference is an act of coming to believe something on the basis of something else you already believe. But what is it to come to believe something on the basis of something else? I propose a disjunctive answer: it is either for some beliefs to rationally cause another—where rational causation is understood as causation that is either actually or potentially productive of knowledgeor for some beliefs to “deviantly” cause another, but for the believer mistakenly to come thereby to believe that the former have rationally caused the latter. The result, I argue, is both a theoretically satisfying account of the act of inferring and a demonstration of the power of a knowledge-first approach to the philosophy of mind.

Keywords

Inference Knowledge-first epistemology Knowledge-first philosophy of mind Ways of knowing Rational causation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyAuburnUSA

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