Knowledge and Inquiry
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Scientific reasoning of the kind used to collect evidence and bring it to bear on a scientific hypothesis, has to be seen as defeasible according to the previous six chapters of this book. This is shown by the cases where expert scientific opinions have disagreed. It is also shown by the reality that scientific opinions sometimes have to be retracted as new evidence comes in and scientific research moves forward. For these reasons, to have a concept of knowledge that is adequate for argumentation studies of the kind pursued in the first six chapters of this book, it is necessary for this concept to include defeasible knowledge, and to include standards of proof as much more important for reasoning about knowledge and lack of knowledge than they have traditionally been held to be. This chapter presents an evidence-based model of inquiry, and defends a fallibilistic view of knowledge. In the model, knowledge is established in a multiagent inquiry in which agents take part in building explanations of the facts comprising the evidence that are subject to critical questioning and counter-arguments.
KeywordsKnowledge Claim Argumentation Scheme External Reality Epistemic Reasoning Defeasible Reasoning
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