Open Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy by Emmett Barcalow

By Emmett Barcalow

This topically geared up text/reader is written in a transparent and energetic kind that instantly attracts scholars into the sweetness of philosophy. The readings were chosen with the common collage scholar in brain to hide the foremost parts of philosophical inquiry and exhibit their relevance to scholars' lives.

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Sample text

What explains everything explains nothing. If I will get the same explanation regardless of what happens, I don't get an explanation of why this happened rather than something else. Consistency with Background Information If a possible explanation is in conflict with (is inconsistent with) information or beliefs that are widely accepted as obviously true, then it is not as good an explanation as one that is not in conflict with such information or beliefs. Suppose that you time yourself in running from point A to point B and back again to point A.

Could the accumulation of even more evidence make the argument inductively weaker? But there's more to inductive strength than just the relation between premises and conclusion. Consider the following argument. All the swans we have observed have been white. Therefore, (probably) all swans are white. Is it inductively strong? If yes, how strong is it? It's difficult to tell, because we need to answer a number of questions. First, how many swans have been observed? If we've observed only a few swans, say ten or twenty, then the argument is pretty weak.

The second argument is much stronger than the first because of the added evidence or premises. BRAIN TEASERS Is the argument now valid? Could the accumulation of even more evidence make the argument inductively weaker? But there's more to inductive strength than just the relation between premises and conclusion. Consider the following argument. All the swans we have observed have been white. Therefore, (probably) all swans are white. Is it inductively strong? If yes, how strong is it? It's difficult to tell, because we need to answer a number of questions.

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