Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Probable and The Provable$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

L. Jonathan Cohen

Print publication date: 1977

Print ISBN-13: 9780198244127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198244127.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 April 2019

An Epistemological Corollary

An Epistemological Corollary

(p.345) 24 An Epistemological Corollary
The Probable and The Provable

L. Jonathan Cohen

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by presenting the prevailing scepticism in the philosophy of science. If a fact that is provable beyond reasonable doubt is inductively certain, the legal assumption that proof beyond reasonable doubt is possible conflicts with the sceptical thesis that knowledge of general truths about the world is impossible. But if it is possible to know that one hypothesis is inductively more reliable than another, it is certainly possible to know also that a hypothesis is fully reliable. Prevalence of the sceptical error is due partly to unawareness of the systematic analogy between the structure of inductive support and the structure of logical truth, partly to a confusion between truth-conditions and justification-conditions, partly to an over-reaction to certain shattering events in the history of science, partly to the mistaken view that a correct assessment of how much one proposition supports another must be regarded as an analytic truth, and partly to the mistaken view that any inductive assessment presupposes certain untestable metaphysical assumptions. When all these points are borne in mind, it becomes clear that on issues of fact proof beyond reasonable doubt, and scientific knowledge, is at least in principle possible.

Keywords:   epistemological corollary, skepticism, philosophy of science, reasonable doubt, proof, inductive support, scientific knowledge

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .