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GCColloq: Noa Latham

October 31, 2012 @ 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm

Each colloquium is held on Wednesday at 4:15 P.M. All colloquia will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center in rooms 9204/9205 except as otherwise noted. Please call (212) 817-8615 for further information.

Noa Latham, University of Calgary

Skepticism and A Priori Possibility

What makes it is more rational to believe in one worldview than an alternative that’s equally consistent with all the empirical evidence? This question arises in such contexts as ascertaining the laws of nature, considering whether there is a divine creator, and debating scepticism about induction and the external world. I discuss a number of principles that have been offered in answer to the question and argue that although some of them are plausible as a posteriori principles, they require the existence of basic a priori principles. I then argue that only three of these candidates are plausible as basic a priori principles and sketch a kind of transcendental argument for them from the assumption that scepticism is irrational, and that only one set of principles can deliver this verdict. Such a transcendental argument could not then be used to refute scepticism as this would be arguing in a circle. But the principles can be deployed more confidently in other contexts if they are seen to deliver the right verdict with regard to scepticism.


October 31, 2012
4:15 pm - 6:15 pm
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CUNY Graduate Center Room 9204
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