quote:On its face, defeasibility is a modest concept with roots in logic and epistemology. An inference is defeasible if it can potentially be "defeated" in light of additional information. Unlike deductively sound conclusions, the products of defeasible reasoning remain subject to revision, held tentatively no matter how firmly.
Defeasibility is a powerful concept when we recognize it not as a modest term of art, but as the proper attitude towards all belief. Between blind faith and radical skepticism is a vast but sparsely populated space where defeasibility finds its home. Irreversible commitments would be foolish; boundless doubt paralyzing. Defeasible beliefs provide the provisional certainty necessary to navigate an uncertain world.
Recognizing the potential revisability of our beliefs is a prerequisite to rational discourse and progress, be it in science, politics, religion, or the mundane negotiations of daily life. Consider the world we could live in if all of our local and global leaders, if all of our personal and professional friends and foes, recognized the defeasibility of their beliefs and acted accordingly. That sure sounds like progress to me. But of course, I could be wrong.
How willing are you to change your mind -- not just on science but political and philosophical beliefs?
Recognizing the potential revisability of our beliefs is a prerequisite to rational discourse and progress, ...
... one should always be skeptical of ones beliefs and open minded enough to consider other possibilities ... now here's a word to describe it: defeasibility, an approach to knowledge that extends the tentativity of science into philosophy.
quote: ... As a first approximation, defeasibility refers to a beliefs liability to lose some positive epistemic status, or to having this status downgraded in some particular way. For example, a person may be epistemically justified in believing some proposition p at one time, but then the belief might become less justified or even unjustified at some later time. ...
New knowledge should always be able to change beliefs.