Prejudices of Opinions

  • Joseph Agassi
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 298)


Francis Bacon is the originator of the demand to suspend judgment about a given theory first and then to commit oneself to it only to the degree to which extant evidence supports it, to the degree of belief in it that is rational given available empirical information. This demand is very widespread and deserves special attention. Before showing that it goes back to Bacon and before explaining why he and his followers were and still are its ardent advocates despite all the criticism that diverse critics have leveled against it, let me discuss the view itself no matter who may have been its originator. The best argument in favor of this theory that I have found is in Russell’s charming Skeptical Essays of 1928. His presentation of his view is a part of his introduction:


Rational Degree Proper Induction Extant Evidence Mechanical Philosophy Receive Opinion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tel Aviv University and York University TorontoHerzliyahIsrael

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