Empirical certainty and the theory of important criteria

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 10 (1-4):21 – 37 (1967)
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Abstract

Philosophers frequently treat certainty as some sort of absolute, while ordinary men typically do not. According to the Theory of Important Criteria, on which the present paper is based, this difference is not to be explained in terms of ambiguity or vagueness in the word?certain?, but rather in terms of disagreement between ordinary men and philosophers as to the importance of one of the criteria of the ordinary sense of?certain?. I argue that there is reason to think that certainty is some sort of absolute, and thus that no empirical statement is certain. And in any case, the problem of empirical certainty is not a pseudo?problem, as metaphilosophers like Wittgenstein and Wisdom have thought

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Citations of this work

Free will, determinism, and the theory of important criteria.Michael A. Slote - 1969 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 12 (1-4):317-38.

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References found in this work

Sense and certainty.Nelson Goodman - 1952 - Philosophical Review 61 (2):160-167.
I.—Common-Sense Propositions and Philosophical Paradoxes.C. A. Campbell - 1945 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 45 (1):1-26.
Ordinary language and absolute certainty.Paul Edwards - 1950 - Philosophical Studies 1 (1):8 - 16.

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