Criticisms of the

Criticisms of the - Criticisms of the "Causal Connection"...

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Criticisms of the "Causal Connection" Strategy There are a number of possible criticisms of the causal connections approach: (1) Even where pattern 1 obtains, one may still not have knowledge. Illustration: The modified chalk case, where the laser light operates only if a sensor detects the presence of a piece of chalk. Or compare the - rather more controversial - barn case. (2) Neither pattern 1 nor pattern 2 seems to provide an account of one's knowledge of laws of nature - both causal laws and non-causal laws. For it doesn't seem to be true either that the state of affairs that makes it the case that something is a law causes the evidence that we have for the existence of the law, or that the former state of affairs and the evidence have a common cause. It is, in part, this problem that leads Goldman to appeal to the idea that one can combine causal connections with logical connections, and view the combination as still classifiable as a causal connection. And it is also this problem that leads Harman to advocate replacing references to causal connections by references to what he calls "inferences to the best explanation". (3) As both Goldman and Harman point out, it looks as if the causal connections thesis concerning knowledge can be derived from an account that doesn't refer to causal connections, along the following lines: Consider something that one cannot directly observe. How can one have knowledge of the existence of such a thing? Philosophers who accept a foundationalist view of knowledge would argue that one can have such knowledge only if the entity is connected with things of which one can have direct knowledge. But I think that this claim can be replaced with a less contentious claim, as follows. Suppose that one has inferential knowledge of object S that is based upon
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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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Criticisms of the - Criticisms of the "Causal Connection"...

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