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Dispositionen: Segen oder Fluch für die kausale Theorie der epistemischen Stützungsbeziehung?

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Many of our beliefs are based on other mental states. What does this basing relation consist in?

Causal theories give the following causal condition for the belief B being based on the mental state M:

(CC) M has caused B (or causes that B is maintained).

The problem of deviant causal chains shows that CC is not sufficient for the basing relation. It has been proposed to solve this problem by introducing the following further dispositional condition that, together with CC, gives necessary conditions for the basing relation:

(DC) B is the manifestation of a cognitive disposition of the subject to form beliefs similar to B if it is in states similar to M.

I will explore whether DC improves causal theories or, to the contrary, weakens those theories. Although DC excludes deviant causal chains successfully it casts doubts on whether CC is a necessary condition. As soon as DC is accepted, everything speaks in favor of abandoning CC. Thus, the attempt to improve causal theories by introducing a dispositional condition unintentionally challenges the causal approach and indicates that a purely dispositional theory is to be preferred.
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Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The journal Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, appearing since 1946, is among the most important academic German language journals. It is open to all topics, approaches, and positions of philosophical thought. Given the increasing differentiation and specialization of the field, it thus constitutes a forum offering its various disciplines the opportunity for mutual recognition and exchange. The articles published in it are subject to an anonymous peer review in which internationally renowned scholars of all areas of contemporary philosophical research participate.

    Die seit 1946 erscheinende Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung gehört zu den wichtigsten deutschsprachigen Fachzeitschriften und steht allen Themen, Richtungen und Positionen der philosophischen Forschung offen. Angesichts der zunehmenden Ausdifferenzierung und Spezialisierung des Faches bietet sie damit auch ein Forum, in dem die verschiedenen Teildisziplinen sich gegenseitig wahrnehmen und in ein gemeinsames Gespräch kommen können. Die in ihr publizierten Abhandlungen durchlaufen ein anonymes Begutachtungsverfahren, an dem international anerkannte Forscher aus allen Spezialgebieten der gegenwärtigen philosophischen Forschung beteiligt sind.
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