TRACKING INFERENCES IS NOT ENOUGH: THE GIVEN AS TIE-BREAKER (pages 129-135)

Marc CHAMPAGNE

ABSTRACT: Most inferentialists hope to bypass givenness by tracking the conditionals claimants are implicitly committed to. I argue that this approach is underdetermined because one can always construct parallel trees of conditionals. I illustrate this using the Müller-Lyer illusion and touching a table. In the former case, the lines are either even or uneven; in the latter case, a moving hand will either sweep through or be halted. For each possibility, we can rationally foresee consequents. However, I argue that, until and unless we benefit from what is given in experience, we cannot know whether to affirm the antecedents of those conditionals.

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