Base Contraction and the Filtering Condition

Isaac Levi

in Mild Contraction

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270705
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601774 | DOI:
Base Contraction and the Filtering Condition

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So far potential states of full belief have been considered only insofar as they are representable by deductively closed sets (corpora or theories) in a suitably specified language L, and it might be objected that such corpora are objectionable because they cannot be surveyed by finite means. The alternative proposal is that attention should be focused on the contraction of finite sets (bases) whose closures represent potential states of full belief. It is argued that if non-degenerate base contraction is to be taken seriously, its justification will ignore the demand that restrictions on the options for contraction should appeal to the goals of the enquiry. The illustrations of Fuhrmann and Hansson in this regard are considered, and it is suggested that the filtering condition appealed to by Fuhrmann smacks of epistemological foundationalism. The author follows Pierce in preferring a pragmatist to a foundationalist epistemology.

Keywords: base contraction; corpora; deductively closed sets; epistemology; filtering condition; foundationalism; Fuhrmann; Hansson; pragmatism; theories

Chapter.  3570 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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