Overdetermination and the Epistemic Argument


  • Martin Orensanz


Ordinary objects, Eliminativism, Causality, Events, Epistemic argument, Overdetermination


The overdetermination argument that Merricks advances for the elimination of ordinary objects aims to show that an event, such as the shattering of a window, can never be determined by two independent causes, such as a baseball on the one hand and a collection of atoms arranged baseballwise on the other. And if this is so, then baseballs do not exist. In a previous article, I suggested a novel way to resist that argument. However, Merricks also advances an epistemic argument, which aims to show that we should suspend our belief in the existence of baseballs. I resorted to Korman’s reconstruction of the epistemic argument, in order to deny one of its premises. But my interpretation of the logical structure of the argument was incorrect, since I treated its mere conditionals as if they were biconditionals. Here I would like to correct my mistake, by providing a new refutation of the epistemic argument.


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Merricks, T. (2001). Objects and Persons. New York: Oxford University Press.

Orensanz, M. (2022). Ordinary Objects and the Overdetermination Argument. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 18(2).




How to Cite

Orensanz, M. (2023). Overdetermination and the Epistemic Argument. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 19(2), 304–314. Retrieved from http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/1096