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Re: Ch. 3: The Reasoning behind Reason
Note to Robert Tulip: Hume alert!
Yes, Hume would say that we can't be absolutely certain that the sun will rise tomorrow. But we can have a reasonable expectation based on our observation and inductive reasoning process. We can fortify this reasoning with the demonstrated hypotheses of science. Our assessment of the strength of all the evidence we're considering gives us a feeling of confidence in the belief, from very weak to very strong.
The most important point I took from this chapter concerns this confidence of belief, a confidence which to some extent must be based on our individual circumstances and experiences. Philosophers have called this "perspectival realism." As the authors say, "While the truth is absolute, our ability to assess that truth is not. We're all fallible human beings with different observations and experiences, and we can't be sure about the complete validity of each belief." When we feel most strongly that a belief is either true or false, often is it something about our experience or individual perspective that produces this quality. This isn't at all the same as accepting that all truth is relative to the one's point of view. The fourth non-commandment, is, after all, "All truth is proportional to the evidence."
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