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Scientific OntologyIntegrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology$
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Anjan Chakravartty

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190651459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190651459.001.0001

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The Nature and Provenance of Epistemic Stances

The Nature and Provenance of Epistemic Stances

(p.201) 7 The Nature and Provenance of Epistemic Stances
Scientific Ontology

Anjan Chakravartty

Oxford University Press

The second of two forms of ontological uncertainty, previously introduced, is explored in detail. This form of uncertainty concerns the contention that not only is ontological commitment something that varies between individuals with different, prior, philosophical commitments in the form of different epistemic stances, but some such differences are irresolvable in principle. The deflationary stance and the two stances most relevant to disputes about this form of uncertainty—the empiricist and metaphysical stances—are considered. The view that the stance one adopts is subject to a kind of choice, thus constituting a form of epistemic voluntarism, is elaborated. Crucial to this view is a description and defense of “permissive” norms of rationality for ontological belief, according to which more than one but not all possible stances are rationally acceptable.

Keywords:   epistemic stances, deflationary stance, empiricist stance, metaphysical stance, voluntarism, doxastic voluntarism, stance voluntarism, permissive rationality

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