Article/Publication Details

Underdetermination, Scepticism and Realism

(Original title: Underdetermination, Scepticism and Realism)
Organon F, 2014, vol. 21, No 2, pp. 145-167.
Language: English
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Abstract

This study aims to articulate and compare the structure, presuppositions and implications of two paradigmatic sceptical arguments, i.e. arguments from underdetermination of scientific theories by observational data (UA) and Cartesian-style arguments (CA) invoking sceptical scenarios of severe cognitive dislocation. Although salient analogies between them may prompt one to think that a unified diagnosis of what is amiss with them is called for, it will be argued that this may be a false hope, if those analogies do not underwrite a complete homology. That said, possible parallels of one promising anti-sceptical exposure of CA are pointed out for the case of UA, which conspire together to render the problem of underdetermination less threatening than it could at first appear.

Keywords

Evidence, realism, scepticism, underdetermination

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