Haack, Bayesian? pt. 2

August 7, 2007 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

By now I’ve finished the second chapter of Evidence and Inquiry, and I think gathered some material for a Foundherentist support of Bayesianism. One of Haack’s prime objections to Lewis’ formulation of foundationalism is that he demands certainty in order for a belief to be justified. Repeatedly, however, Haack declares that beliefs only need to be justified to “some degree”.

“A’s belief that p cannot be justified to any degree, non-relatively, unless, eventually, the chain ends with a belief or beliefs which is or are justified to some degree independently of further beliefs. But it is not required that the basic belief or beliefs eventually reached be completely justified independently of any further beliefs.” (Haack, 43)

This is the primary reason why foundherintism beats out foundationalism as a coherent epistimological system. While I haven’t yet investigated Haack’s other writings for the same Bayesian thread, this doesn’t seem like a bad line of inquiry to pursue. Also, Haack is so precise in her definition of terms (and so critical of others’ lack of precision, as in her somewhat sarcastic critique of Lewis use of terms on 38) that I doubt it’s a coincidence that she phrases her argument with “to some degree”.


Entry filed under: Bayesianism, Epistemology, foundherentism, Haack.

Haack, Bayesian? Essentialism in Philosophy and Biology

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Everything on this blog should be taken as a draft, the spilling over of mental activity flung far and wide. The author is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA who enjoys many things but devotes most of this space to matters academic.
August 2007
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