Paradigm-Case Argument - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Further Applications

Other examples of philosophical doubt to which the paradigm-case argument has been applied include skepticism about the validity of inductive reasoning, about man's free will, about the possibility of knowledge concerning empirical facts generally, and about the reality of the past. In many cases these skeptical positions are founded entirely on a priori considerations, and their stand is not merely that, as a matter of fact, there are no instances of some class of things, but that, as a matter of logical necessity, there could not be any. Philosophers who have argued that we can never genuinely know anything about the empirical world, for example, have almost invariably thought such knowledge a logical impossibility. Their reason is often the supposed impossibility of complete verification of any empirical assertion about the world. But this they take to be a necessary truth following from the fact that there...

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This section contains 5,316 words
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Paradigm-Case Argument from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.