An underdetermination argument against underdetermination
MetadataShow full item record
There is a collection of arguments in the philosophical literature that have a similar structure. These arguments are sometimes called ‘underdetermination arguments’. In this paper, I expose a problem with arguments of this type. I launch an underdetermination argument against a particular epistemic principle that underdetermination arguments assume. As a result, the epistemic principle is undermined. I begin by explaining the underdetermination argument. For heuristic reasons, I explain the argument by providing two examples one from the debate between realism and anti-realism in philosophy of science, and the other from a debate in the philosophy of religion. But as I go along, keep in mind that the application of my argument is more general than these debates. In section two, I argue that most purported solutions to the underdetermination problem do not work; here, for heuristic reasons, I am going to only focus on solutions found in the philosophy of science literature. In section three, I unmask and explain the epistemic principle I think underdetermination arguments assume. In section four, I present the underdetermination argument against the epistemic principle, which I call ‘the meta-underdetermination argument’. Lastly, I consider some potential objections in section five.