TOP TEN PROOFS THAT P IS INDETERMINATE

Number 10. I sat in my office for several hours thinking about it, and I can’t find a way of testing whether p or not p. Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 9. Consider the following thought experiments. [What follows are ingenious, humorous, and memorable examples – but no premises, and no reasoning from premises.] Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 8. If p is determinate, then my favorite reply to skepticism would not be “bullet proof”. Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 7. If Cartesianism (or the Humean theory of Ideas, or Platonic Realism, or some other unpalatable view) is true, then p is determinate. Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 6. There is a normative (or holistic, or rational, or vague) element to p. Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 5. p is about meaning (or mental states). Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 4. Underdetermination must be sharply distinguished from indeterminacy. Even theories in physics are underdetermined! Now, p isn’t a statement within physics; and p is clearly underdetermined. Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 3. Radical behaviorism and verificationism together entail that p is indeterminate. Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

Number 2. Evidence of kind E underdetermines p. (For absolutely definitive support of this premise, see Proof Number 10.) But there is obviously a conceptual connection between claims like p and evidence of kind E. Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p. [P.S. Though there is this obvious conceptual connection, Quine is of course right that there is no analytic/synthetic distinction.]

And the Number 1 Proof that p is indeterminate… p can be expressed in numerous different notations. (I.e., p is like the claim that it is 32 degrees Fahrenheit outside, which can equally be expressed in Centigrade or Kelvin.) Therefore, it’s indeterminate whether p.

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