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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 35, Issue 2, May 2020

Thomas Bartelborth
Pages 139-154

The rehabilitation of deductive reasoning

The paper aims at the rehabilitation of deductive reasoning. As a paradigm of reliable reasoning, it should be applicable in every confirmation context. In particular, it should transmit inductive justification, so that if D justifies a hypothesis H, then D also justifies all deductive conclusions from H. Nevertheless, most current philosophers of science reject such a transmission principle as false. They argue against it by providing apparent counter-examples and also by showing that it is incompatible with common confirmation theories such as HD-confirmation and Bayesianism. I argue in the opposite direction that we should stick to the transmission principle and revise instead our justification theories towards more cautious justification procedures that respect the transmission principle. This will avoid further paradoxes of these theories and, in particular, will enable us to apply our confirmed hypotheses to new situations in a well-founded way.

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