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Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief (Hardback)
  • Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief (Hardback)
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Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief (Hardback)

(author)
£49.99
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 07/01/2016
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Martin Smith explores a question central to philosophy-namely, what does it take for a belief to be justified or rational? According to a widespread view, whether one has justification for believing a proposition is determined by how probable that proposition is, given one's evidence. In the present book this view is rejected and replaced with another: in order for one to have justification for believing a proposition, one's evidence must normically support it-roughly, one's evidence must make the falsity of that proposition abnormal in the sense of calling for special, independent explanation. This conception of justification bears upon a range of topics in epistemology and beyond, including the relation between justification and knowledge, the force of statistical evidence, the problem of scepticism, the lottery and preface paradoxes, the viability of multiple premise closure, the internalist/externalist debate, the psychology of human reasoning, and the relation between belief and degrees of belief. Ultimately, this way of looking at justification guides us to a new, unfamiliar picture of how we should respond to our evidence and manage our own fallibility. This picture is developed here.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198755333
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 406 g
Dimensions: 223 x 154 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Smith's book provides a highly original account of perhaps the central concept in epistemology, one that offers fertile ground for exploring just about every conceivable topic and idea of central interest to the field, new and old. I suspect that those who are newly introduced to the theory of knowledge will take to it like moths to a flame, and I hope that veterans will set aside their preconceptions and take it seriously as a force to be reckoned with. * Kelly Becker, Mind *
Martin Smiths Between Probability and Certainty is an outstanding work of philosophy: lucidly written, original, and compelling. Smith develops in detail a new conception of justification, an alternative to the familiar conception of justification as risk minimization. On the new conception, justification is a matter of normic support, i.e., a matter of having support that makes one safe from errors that could occur in the normal course of events. On datum after datum, Smith shows how the normic support conception outperforms the risk minimization conception. Particularly noteworthy is Smiths masterful use of formal models to approach philosophical issues. * Matthew McGrath, University of Missouri *

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