Title 5 – KQ 4 : Is accepting Knowledge claims beyond Evidence consistent with applying Reason and Logic?

KQ 4 : Is accepting Knowledge claims beyond Evidence consistent with applying Reason and Logic?

As seen in the case of Inductive reasoning , the hypothesis construction is done on the basis of current knowledge and predictions but there may exist a large number of incomprehensible and complex alternatives for each accepted explanation of a phenomenon. There is always a tendency to load weak and inadequate explanations with  ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified thus preferring and generating more and more simpler theories to more complex ones because they are more testable.

And yet , Charles Sanders Pierce postulates through the doctrine of fallibilism that the rationality of the scientific method does not depend on the certainty of its conclusions, but on its self-corrective character thus making the conclusions of science always tentative. It is only with detection and correction of its own mistakes , scientific method eventually leads to the discovery of truth. Pierce further says that” a hypothesis is judged and selected for testing because it offers, via its trial, to expedite and economize the inquiry process itself toward new truths, first of all by being testable and also by further economies, in terms of cost, value, and relationships among guesses (hypotheses). Here, considerations such as probability, absent from the treatment of abduction at the critical level, come into play.”

Similarly biases can distort the deductive reasoning process and as a result prevent the reasearcher, for the most part , from forming logical conclusion . Examples of these biases include the availability heuristic, confirmation bias, and the predictable-world bias.

“The predictable-world bias revolves around the inclination to perceive order where it has not been proved to exist, either at all or at a particular level of abstraction. Gambling, for example, is one of the most popular examples of predictable-world bias. Gamblers often begin to think that they see simple and obvious patterns in the outcomes and, therefore, believe that they are able to predict outcomes based upon what they have witnessed. In reality, however, the outcomes of these games are difficult to predict and highly complex in nature. “


Primarily people are inclined to employ simplistic means to explain or justify their beliefs and experiences, and it is often difficult for them to realise that their perceptions of order may be entirely different from the truth. In case of Belief Revision – the process of adapting beliefs in view of new information – the main problem is that the new information is inconsistent with the existing corpus of beliefs , thus driving to use preference models through abductive reasoning . These Preference models order the preference of possible beliefs using fuzzy logic and utility models most often witnessed in the Areas of Religious systems and History .