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Chapter 4 - Naturalism and norms of inference

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2014

Abrol Fairweather
Affiliation:
San Francisco State University
Owen Flanagan
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

This chapter talks about the naturalism and epistemic norms of inference. Norms of inference can be classified by analogy with the more familiar distinction between doxastic and propositional justification with respect to propositions. The chapter only considers the analog of doxastic justification for inferences, and token inferences. It focuses on the epistemic status of basic inferences, an inference whose epistemic status is not derived from those of the subject's other inferences or beliefs. However, versions of the Open Question Argument (OQA) are liable to be raised as objections to the naturalizing strategy under development. The strategy of appealing to a non-propositional insight offers a promising way to avoid the risks inherent in invoking epistemic reliance on something that looks too much like an additional premise. The chapter sketches the outlines of an epistemological account of how some basic inferential moves have the epistemic status of solidity.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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