By Bas C. Van Fraassen
An introductory, historic survey of philosophical positions on area and time, during the specific conception of relativity and the causal conception of time.
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Extra info for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space
This is perfectly consistent with believing that there are likely to exist incompletenesses in the law, or areas of discretion in which truth would not attach to just one verdict. It will be part of the judge's discipline to think of truth as attaching to just one side, which it is his task to find, but it does not follow that in his reflections on legal reality he must suppose that this assumption has any foundation in the facts. The open-ended nature of the discipline may mean that it is never in practice possible to categorize a case as one in which it was neither true that the contract was valid, nor false that it was, in which case the maxim has an imperative force equivalent to 'keep looking for reasons'; its status is exactly like the drive to a complete and unitary explanation, which Kant saw as governing science.
Since the role of the epistemic concepts is to rank sources of information, then if one source knows when another does not, it cannot be that the belief of the knowing subject is unsafe in ways that give him less IRV than the subject who does not know. This is a principle concerning belief. So there is a caveat to enter in the use of this principle: we might call it the Matilda caveat. Matilda 'told such dreadful lies it made one Gasp and Stretch One's Eyes'. 5 Her effective IRV had disappeared with her credibility, but for all that, she knew that the house was on fire.
Let us say that someone in a certain state of information, and exhibiting some disposition to form belief, also possesses a degree of soundness, or 4. K. Lehrer and T. Paxson, 'Knowledge: Undefeated Justified True Belief, in Essays on Knowledge and Justification, ed. G. Pappas and M. Swain (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978). 38 Metaphysics solidity as a source of information. We can call this a degree of value to a would-be information receiver, or IRV (information-receiver value). If this is the normative dimension, as it were, in which to place knowledge, then we would expect to be able to put the following principle down: The Mirv/Pirv principle: If two subjects each believe truly that p, the one cannot know, when the other does not, unless the former is in a position with at least as much IRV as the latter.
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space by Bas C. Van Fraassen