forum 1, week of Jan 8, Dretske

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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I cannot help but feel that "relevant" is pre-defined by Dretske's style of writing. His tendency towards slightly absurd-situational (clever lighting, costumed mules) yet commonly-placed examples (paint, zoo) are an obvious contrast between possible and likely. It's the likely part that I think is "relevant". Because we can say "this is a zebra" while excluding the obvious "this is a rhino" without having to change any other explanation or retrofit the premisses inherent in our beliefs as to why it is a zebra, it is a "relevant alternative" for the explantion. In order to object to a green wall, one must first presuppose that there is a likeliness that the wall is cleverly lit...yet in terms of argument or further analysis, there is no -relevant- reason to presuppose this. While not as analytical a consideration as is given above in Olsy's thoughts, I feel that this use, that in order to converse or think about an issue one must only consider the likely--the relevant--possibilities, is implied by Dretske's common speech.

07:31, 10 January 2012