Who's afraid of undermining?

Erkenntnis 57 (2):151-174 (2002)
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The Principal Principle (PP) says that, for any proposition A, given any admissible evidence and the proposition that the chance of A is x%, one's conditional credence in A should be x%. Humean Supervenience (HS) claims that, among possible worlds like ours, no two differ without differing in the spacetime-point-by-spacetime-point arrangement of local properties. David Lewis (1986b, 1994a) has argued that PP contradicts HS, and the validity of his argument has been endorsed by Bigelow et al. (1993), Thau (1994), Hall (1994), Strevens (1995), Ismael (1996), Hoefer (1997), and Black (1998). Against this consensus, I argue that PP might not contradict HS: Lewis's argument is invalid, and every attempt – within a broad class of attempts – to amend the argument fails.

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Peter Vranas
University of Wisconsin, Madison


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