Consistency

I’m unsure how much to make of this, but I’ve been reading a paper which makes a great deal out of how in both the cases of science and ethics, there are many internally consistent systems of belief to be had.  It’s the sort of paper where that observation is at the start of every objection and every reply, saying “believe me, I really do know that fact is true–my ignorance of that fact cannot explain my errors!”

In the scientific case, the thought is motivated by the idea of the underdetermination of theory by observation, while in the ethical case the thought has had a similarly august history, going back to Hume’s sensible knave, if not further.  Nonetheless, I can’t help but notice that in either realm, the real difficulty is coming up with even one such internally consistent account.

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