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Constructive Empiricism: Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science 2010th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Dicken argues that belief and acceptance are entirely distinct attitudes, which cut orthogonally. Acceptance doesn't entail any degree of belief at all. We therefore need only accept the questionable abstract objects and do not have to believe them.
This idea is only developed, though, in the final chapter of this short book. I would have liked to hear more about it and what it involves. Can we, for example, even accept theories about observable objects, while we do not believe in them? If so, then Dicken should say more about why his position is anti-skeptical. Dicken addresses those who allege that acceptance and belief are only verbally different. I should have liked a little more, though, on what it is that _does_ indicate belief. While this is not a book on the philosophy of mind, the very wide scope accorded to acceptance makes this criticism look suspiciously telling, in spite of the replies to it. I also found the book less easy to follow than some others of its kind.
Dicken's position is very interesting in other fields, such as philosophy of mathematics. The book shows a comprehensive and discriminating grasp of the literature. And it moves the debate forward in potentially very fruitful ways.