Accept the definitions of logical presupposition and epistemic presupposition.
While theories are answers to questions, questions themselves presuppose theories that are answers to other questions. For example, the question “What is the distance between the Earth and the sphere of stars?” presupposes the theories “The Earth exists”, “The sphere of stars exists”, and “There exists a distance between the Earth and the sphere of stars”, which are answers to other questions, i.e. “Does the sphere of stars exist?”, etc. It is widely accepted in the literature (see, for example, Rescher, 2000, p. 10; Sober, 1986, p. 144; Wisniewski, 1995, p. 115) that any theory that is logically entailed by any possible direct answer (i.e. “a piece of language that completely, but just completely, answers the question” (Belnap and Steel, 1976, p.3)) to a given question is a logical presupposition of that question. While it is straightforward to see that a theory can act as a logical presupposition for multiple questions, what is more worrying is that a question can have infinitely many logical presuppositions. Rescher (2000, p.11) shows that this is because “every logical consequence of a presupposition is itself a presupposition if only because p entails p-or-q”. That is, since every theory can have infinitely many logical consequences, a question can have infinitely many logical presuppositions. This infinity of presuppositions is problematic if we consider that in scientonomy, we primarily deal with agents with finite epistemic capacities, i.e. agents whose mosaics cannot hold an infinity of elements. If in order to accept a question, a given agent must accept an infinity of presupposing theories, it is not clear how any finite agent could accept any question. This modification thus suggests an account of epistemic presuppositions, which are agent-dependent and do not result in the same explosion as logical presuppositions.
Theories To Accept
- Epistemic Presupposition (Barseghyan-Levesley-2021): A theory is said to be an epistemic presupposition of a question for some agent, iff the agent accepts that accepting any direct answer to the question will necessitate accepting the theory.
- Logical Presupposition (Barseghyan-Levesley-2021): A theory is said to be a logical presupposition of a question, iff the theory is logically entailed by any direct answer to the question.
Questions To Accept
- Types of Epistemic Presuppositions: What types of epistemic presuppositions are there?
This modification attempts to answer the following question(s):
- Epistemic Presupposition: What is epistemic presupposition? How should it be defined?
- Logical Presupposition: What is logical presupposition? How should it be defined?
The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.
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- Barseghyan, Hakob and Levesley, Nichole. (2021) Question Dynamics. Scientonomy 4, 1-19. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/37120.