Schaefer reviews Swinburne

Peter Schaefer reviews Mind, Brain, and Free Will by Richard Swinburne. An excerpt:

Swinburne then turns (briefly) to matters of epistemology. How do we go about making judgments on various matters? As elsewhere, he defends some basic epistemic principles including the by-now-familiar principles of credulity (PC) iii and testimony (PT)iv. Any evidence that the way things seem or what people tell us not caused ultimately by the things apparently perceived or testified to provide a defeater for PC and PT. This last point can be unpacked more formally as the epistemic assumption (EA), which states that there are three components to justified belief in a theory. First, there must be a justified belief that the theory makes true predictions. Second, the only sources of evidence for that justified belief would be apparent experience, memory, and testimony that the theory predicts certain events and that those events occurred. Third and most importantly, such justification is undermined by any evidence that any apparent experience was not caused by an apparent experience of the event apparently remembered, or any apparent testimony was not caused by the testifier’s intention to report his or her apparent experience or memory. As will be seen shortly, this last part of the EA undergirds Swinburne’s case for free will in the face of recent neuroscientific findings.

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