Rationality and Reality: Conversations with Alan Musgrave by Colin Cheyne, John Worrall

By Colin Cheyne, John Worrall

Alan Musgrave has constantly defended positions that he regards as commonsensical – severe realism and demanding rationalism. In defence of critcal realism he argues for the target lifestyles of the exterior global in place of idealism, in addition to arguing for medical realism opposed to all anti-realist money owed of technological know-how. His severe rationalism is drawn from the paintings of Karl Popper and stands against inductivist and irrationalist methodologies. In defence of those positions, Musgrave’s writings have lined quite a lot of themes in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of technological know-how, philosophy of arithmetic, background of technology, theories of fact, and fiscal idea. during this quantity a gaggle of internationally-renowned authors speak about issues which are appropriate in a single approach or one other to Musgrave’s paintings. this isn't meant as a typical celebratory festschrift yet particularly as a brand new exam of issues of present curiosity in philosophy. The contributory essays are via responses from Alan Musgrave himself.

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26 COLIN CHEYNE Who are ‘We’? Perhaps ‘We’ refers to those of us who believe that inductive reasoning is logically invalid and that to reason in a logically invalid way is unreasonable or irrational. So, perhaps a solution to the problem of induction requires an account of how we may acquire evidence-transcendent beliefs that are reasonable without abandoning our beliefs about induction and validity. If so, then our believing in the reasonableness of induction is ruled out. However, our acquisition of reasonable evidence-transcendent beliefs on testimony is not ruled out, and if something like T´ is the appropriate epistemic principle, then our acquisition of such beliefs by testimony alone is not ruled out.

Now I am not concerned here with exegesis. After all, Popper wrote little on what constitutes reasonable belief, and was somewhat cautious on the issue as to which hypotheses should or should not be believed or accepted. ‘I do not demand that 6 See Coady (1992) for an extended exploration of the way that our epistemic resources are inextricably enmeshed with testimony. 28 COLIN CHEYNE every scientific statement must have in fact been tested before it is accepted. I only demand that every such statement must be capable of being tested’ (Popper 1968, p.

Secondly, there are immediate questions about the completeness (or perhaps aptness) of Musgrave’s classification: where, in particular, does the currently most widely held account of confirmation—personalist Bayesianism—figure within his scheme? I suppose that intuitively most philosophers of science would regard the Bayesian theory as the archetypically ‘logical’ approach to confirmation. , p. 2) and Bayesianism certainly seems to be what eventually became of that orthodoxy, even to the extent to its being explicitly adopted by Carnap in his later years.

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