An Appeal to the Specious Present

An Appeal to the Specious Present -...

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An Appeal to the Specious Present A second way in which one might attempt to show that memory beliefs can be justified involves  an appeal to the specious present. This approach was advanced by R. F. Harrod, in a book  entitled  Foundations of Inductive Logic , and as Harrod formulates it, it makes use of hypothetico- deductive method. But it may be helpful to start off by considering a simpler, and less  satisfactory argument that also appeals to the idea of the specious present, and that involves only  instantial generalization. An Argument that Uses Instantial Generalization Let us begin by considering, then, the simpler argument. Given the skeptical argument set out  earlier, the idea that one can inductively establish generalizations to justify beliefs about the past  may well seem, of course, quite out of the question. But, as we shall now see, there is a possible  way of challenging that conclusion. The basic line of thought is as follows: (1) First, one's experience is not confined to that of an instantaneous state of affairs. For if it  were, there would be no perception of motion. One's experience should be thought of,  accordingly, as involving a specious present. What is meant by the specious present? A way of understanding this is by comparing pictures of, 
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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An Appeal to the Specious Present -...

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