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Infinitism

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  1. Scott Aikin (2009). Don't Fear the Regress: Cognitive Values and Epistemic Infinitism. Think 8 (23):55-61.
    We are rational creatures, in that we are beings on whom demands of rationality are appropriate. But by our rationality it doesn't follow that we always live up to those demands. In those cases, we fail to be rational , but it is in a way that is different from how rocks, tadpoles, and gum fail to be rational. For them, we use the term ‘arational.’ They don't have the demands, but we do. The demands of rationality bear on us (...)
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  2. Scott F. Aikin, Don't Fear the Regress: Epistemic Infinitism and Cognitive Value.
    This essay is an introductory overview of the considerations in favor of epistemic infinitism, the view that the demands of justification are that one must have non-terminating series of reasons for one's beliefs if they are to be knowledge.
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  3. Scott F. Aikin (forthcoming). The Problem of the Criterion and Hegel's Model for Epistemic Infinitism. History of Philosophy Quarterly.
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  4. Scott F. Aikin (2014). Prospects for Moral Epistemic Infinitism. Metaphilosophy 45 (2):172-181.
    This article poses two regresses for justification of moral knowledge and discusses three models for moral epistemic infinitism that arise. There are moral infinitisms dependent on empirical infinitism, what are called “piggyback” moral infinitisms. There are substantive empiricist moral infinitisms, requiring infinite chains of descriptive facts to justify normative rules. These empiricist infinitisms are developed either as infinitist egoisms or as infinitist sentimentalisms. And, finally, there are substantive rationalist moral infinitisms, requiring infinite chains of normative reasons to justify moral rules. (...)
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  5. Scott F. Aikin (2011). Epistemology and the Regress Problem. Routledge.
    The regress problem -- Infinitism defended -- Metaepistemic varieties of epistemic infinitism -- Foundationalism, infinitism, and the given -- Argumentation and anti-dogmatism.
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  6. Scott F. Aikin (2009). Prospects for Peircian Epistemic Infinitism. Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (2):71-89.
    Epistemic infinitism is the view that infinite series of inferential relations are productive of epistemic justification. Peirce is explicitly infinitist in his early work, namely his 1868 series of articles. Further, Peirce's semiotic categories of firsts, seconds, and thirds favors a mixed theory of justification. The conclusion is that Peirce was an infinitist, and particularly, what I will term an impure infinitist. However, the prospects for Peirce's infinitism depend entirely on the prospects for Peirce's early semantics, which are not good. (...)
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  7. Scott F. Aikin (2008). Meta-Epistemology and the Varieties of Epistemic Infinitism. Synthese 163 (2):175 - 185.
    I will assume here the defenses of epistemic infinitism are adequate and inquire as to the variety standpoints within the view. I will argue that infinitism has three varieties depending on the strength of demandingness of the infinitist requirement and the purity of its conception of epistemic justification, each of which I will term strong pure, strong impure, and weak impure infinitisms. Further, I will argue that impure infinitisms have the dialectical advantage.
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  8. Scott F. Aikin (2008). Perelmanian Universal Audience and the Epistemic Aspirations of Argument. Philosophy and Rhetoric 41 (3):pp. 238-259.
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  9. Scott F. Aikin (2005). Who is Afraid of Epistemology's Regress Problem? Philosophical Studies 126 (2):191 - 217.
    What follows is a taxonomy of arguments that regresses of inferential justification are vicious. They fall out into four general classes: (A) conceptual arguments from incompleteness, (B) conceptual arguments from arbitrariness, (C) ought-implies-can arguments from human quantitative incapacities, and (D) ought-implies can arguments from human qualitative incapacities. They fail with a developed theory of “infinitism” consistent with valuational pluralism and modest epistemic foundationalism.
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  10. David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg (2010). Justification by Infinite Loops. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 51 (4):407-416.
    In an earlier paper we have shown that a proposition can have a well-defined probability value, even if its justification consists of an infinite linear chain. In the present paper we demonstrate that the same holds if the justification takes the form of a closed loop. Moreover, in the limit that the size of the loop tends to infinity, the probability value of the justified proposition is always well-defined, whereas this is not always so for the infinite linear chain. This (...)
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  11. David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg (2009). Justification by an Infinity of Conditional Probabilities. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 50 (2):183-193.
    Today it is generally assumed that epistemic justification comes in degrees. The consequences, however, have not been adequately appreciated. In this paper we show that the assumption invalidates some venerable attacks on infinitism: once we accept that epistemic justification is gradual, an infinitist stance makes perfect sense. It is only without the assumption that infinitism runs into difficulties.
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  12. Michael Bergmann (2007). Is Klein an Infinitist About Doxastic Justification? Philosophical Studies 134 (1):19 - 24.
    This paper is a response to Peter Klein's "Human Knowledge and the Infinite Progress of Reasoning" . After briefly discussing what Klein says about the requirement, for doxastic justification, that a belief be formed in the right way, I'll make the following three points: Klein's solution to the regress problem isn't an infinitist solution, Klein's position on doxastic justification faces a troubling dilemma, and Klein's objection to foundationalism fails.
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  13. Selim Berker (forthcoming). Coherentism Via Graphs. Philosophical Issues.
    Once upon a time, coherentism was the dominant response to the regress problem in epistemology, but in recent decades the view has fallen into disrepute: now almost everyone is a foundationalist (with a few infinitists sprinkled here and there). In this paper, I sketch a new way of thinking about coherentism, and show how it avoids many of the problems often thought fatal for the view, including the isolation objection, worries over circularity, and concerns that the concept of coherence is (...)
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  14. Benjamin Bewersdorf (2014). Infinitism and Probabilistic Justification. Synthese 191 (4):691-699.
    According to infinitism, beliefs can be justified by an infinite chain of reasons. So far, infinitism has rarely been taken seriously and often even dismissed as inconsistent. However, Peijnenburg and Atkinson have recently argued that beliefs can indeed be justified by an infinite chain of reasons, if justification is understood probabilistically. In the following, I will discuss the formal result that has led to this conclusion. I will then introduce three probabilistic explications of justification and examine to which extent they (...)
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  15. Ben Bronner (2013). Assertions Only? Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):44-52.
    It is standardly believed that the only way to justify an assertion in the face of a challenge is by making another assertion. Call this claim ASSERTIONS ONLY. Besides its intrinsic interest, ASSERTIONS ONLY is relevant to deciding between competing views of the norms that govern reasoned discourse. ASSERTIONS ONLY is also a crucial part of the motivation for infinitism and Pyrrhonian skepticism. I suggest that ASSERTIONS ONLY is false: I can justify an assertion by drawing attention to something that (...)
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  16. Andrew D. Cling (2008). The Epistemic Regress Problem. Philosophical Studies 140 (3):401 - 421.
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  17. Andrew D. Cling (2004). The Trouble with Infinitism. Synthese 138 (1):101 - 123.
    One way to solve the epistemic regress problem would be to show that we can acquire justification by means of an infinite regress. This is infinitism. This view has not been popular, but Peter Klein has developed a sophisticated version of infinitism according to which all justified beliefs depend upon an infinite regress of reasons. Klein's argument for infinitism is unpersuasive, but he successfully responds to the most compelling extant objections to the view. A key component of his position is (...)
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  18. Coos Engelsma (2014). On Peter Klein's Concept of Arbitrariness. Metaphilosophy 45 (2):192-200.
    According to Peter Klein, foundationalism fails because it allows a vicious form of arbitrariness. The present article critically discusses his concept of arbitrariness. It argues that the condition Klein takes to be necessary and sufficient for an epistemic item to be arbitrary is neither necessary nor sufficient. It also argues that Klein's concept of arbitrariness is not a concept of something that is obviously vicious. Even if Klein succeeds in establishing that foundationalism allows what he regards as arbitrariness, this does (...)
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  19. Jeremy Fantl (2003). Modest Infinitism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (4):537 - 562.
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  20. Tito Alencar Flores (2005). The Problem of the Criterion, Knowing That One Knows and Infinitism. Veritas: Revista de Filosofia da PUCRS 50 (4):109-128.
    O problema do critério é um dos mais importantes da epistemologia. A resposta que se dá a ele definirá um aspecto fundamental das teorias do conhecimento. Neste ensaio, o problema do critério é apresentado e algumas das conseqüências geradas pela aceitação de exigências metaepistemicas são analisadas. Em especial, essas conseqüências são avaliadas em relação ao infinitismo – a teoria epistemológica segundo a qual as razões que sustentam nossas crenças devem ser infinitas em número e não-repetidas. Ao final, sustenta-se que cláusulas (...)
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  21. Carl Gillett (2003). Infinitism Redux? A Response to Klein. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):709–717.
    Foundationalist, Coherentist, Skeptic etc., have all been united in one respect--all accept epistemic justification cannot result from an unending, and non-repeating, chain of reasons. Peter Klein has recently challenged this minimal consensus with a defense of what he calls "Infinitism"--the position that justification can result from such a regress. Klein provides surprisingly convincing responses to most of the common objections to Infinitism, but I will argue that he fails to address a venerable metaphysical concern about a certain type of regress. (...)
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  22. Carl Ginet (2005). Infinitism is Not the Solution to the Regress Problem. In Steup Matthias & Sosa Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. 140--149.
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  23. Jeremy Gwiazda (2011). Infinitism, Completability, and Computability: Reply to Peijnenburg. Mind 119 (476):1123-1124.
    In ‘Infinitism Regained’, Jeanne Peijnenburg argues for a version of infinitism wherein ‘beliefs may be justified by an infinite chain of reasons that can be actually completed’. I argue that Peijnenburg has not successfully argued for this claim, but rather has shown that certain infinite series can be computed.
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  24. Frederik Herzberg (2014). The Dialectics of Infinitism and Coherentism: Inferential Justification Versus Holism and Coherence. Synthese 191 (4):701-723.
    This paper formally explores the common ground between mild versions of epistemological coherentism and infinitism; it proposes—and argues for—a hybrid, coherentist–infinitist account of epistemic justification. First, the epistemological regress argument and its relation to the classical taxonomy regarding epistemic justification—of foundationalism, infinitism and coherentism—is reviewed. We then recall recent results proving that an influential argument against infinite regresses of justification, which alleges their incoherence on account of probabilistic inconsistency, cannot be maintained. Furthermore, we prove that the Principle of Inferential Justification (...)
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  25. Frederik Herzberg (2013). The Consistency of Probabilistic Regresses: Some Implications for Epistemological Infinitism. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 78 (2):371-382.
    This note employs the recently established consistency theorem for infinite regresses of probabilistic justification (Herzberg in Stud Log 94(3):331–345, 2010) to address some of the better-known objections to epistemological infinitism. In addition, another proof for that consistency theorem is given; the new derivation no longer employs nonstandard analysis, but utilises the Daniell–Kolmogorov theorem.
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  26. Daniel Howard-Snyder (2005). Foundationalism and Arbitrariness. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1):18–24.
    Nonskeptical foundationalists say that there are basic beliefs. But, one might object, either there is a reason why basic beliefs are likely to be true or there is not. If there is, then they are not basic; if there is not, then they are arbitrary. I argue that this dilemma is not nearly as decisive as its author, Peter Klein, would have us believe.
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  27. Daniel Howard-Snyder & E. J. Coffman (2006). Three Arguments Against Foundationalism: Arbitrariness, Epistemic Regress, and Existential Support. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):535-564.
    Foundationalism is false; after all, foundational beliefs are arbitrary, they do not solve the epistemic regress problem, and they cannot exist withoutother (justified) beliefs. Or so some people say. In this essay, we assess some arguments based on such claims, arguments suggested in recent work by Peter Klein and Ernest Sosa.
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  28. Noriaki Iwasa (2013). Moral Applicability of Agrippa's Trilemma. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 13 (37):109-128.
    According to Agrippa's trilemma, an attempt to justify something leads to either infinite regress, circularity, or dogmatism. This essay examines whether and to what extent the trilemma applies to ethics. There are various responses to the trilemma, such as foundationalism, coherentism, contextualism, infinitism, and German idealism. Examining those responses, the essay shows that the trilemma applies at least to rational justification of contentful moral beliefs. This means that rationalist ethics based on any contentful moral belief are rationally unjustifiable.
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  29. Peter Klein (2008). Contemporary Responses to Agrippa's Trilemma. In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press.
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  30. Peter Klein (2007). How to Be an Infinitist About Doxastic Justification. Philosophical Studies 134 (1):25 - 29.
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  31. Peter Klein (2007). Human Knowledge and the Infinite Progress of Reasoning. Philosophical Studies 134 (1):1 - 17.
    The purpose of this paper is to explain how infinitism—the view that reasons are endless and non-repeating—solves the epistemic regress problem and to defend that solution against some objections. The first step is to explain what the epistemic regress problem is and, equally important, what it is not. Second, I will discuss the foundationalist and coherentist responses to the regress problem and offer some reasons for thinking that neither response can solve the problem, no matter how they are tweaked. Then, (...)
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  32. Peter Klein (2003). When Infinite Regresses Are Not Vicious. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):718–729.
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  33. Peter Klein (1998). Review: Foundationalism and the Infinite Regress of Reasons. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):919 - 925.
    In Metaepistemology and Skepticism (Rowman & Littlefield:\n1995), Richard Fumerton defends foundationalism. As part of\nthe defense he rejects infinitism--the view that holds that\nthe solution to the problem of the regress of justificatory\nreasons is that the reasons are infinitely many and\nnonrepeating. I examine some of those arguments and attempt\nto show that they are not really telling against (at least\nsome versions of) infinitism. Along the way I present some\nobjections to his account of inferential justification.
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  34. Peter D. Klein (2011). Infinitism. In Sven Bernecker & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge.
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  35. Peter D. Klein (2011). Infinitism and the Epistemic Regress Problem. In Tolksdorf Stephan (ed.), Conceptions of Knowledge. de Gruyter.
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  36. Peter D. Klein (2011). Epistemic Justification and the Limits of Pyrrhonism. In Diego Machuca (ed.), Pyrrhonism in Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Philosophy. Springer.
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  37. Peter D. Klein (2005). Reply to Ginet. In Steup Matthias & Sosa Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell.
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  38. Peter D. Klein (2005). Infinitism is the Solution to the Epistemic Regress Problem. In Steup Matthias & Sosa Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell.
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  39. Peter D. Klein (2005). Infinitism's Take on Justification, Knowledge, Certainty and Skepticism. Veritas: Revista de Filosofia da PUCRS 50 (4):153-172.
    O propósito deste artigo é mostrar como podem ser desenvolvidas explicações robustas de justificação e de certeza no interior do infinitismo. Primeiro, eu explico como a concepção infinitista de justificação epistêmica difere das concepções fundacionista e coerentista. Em segundo lugar, explico como o infinitista pode oferecer uma solução ao problema do regresso epistêmico. Em terceiro lugar, explico como o infinitismo, per se, é compatível com as teorias daqueles que sustentam 1) que o conhecimento requer certeza e que uma tal forma (...)
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  40. Peter D. Klein (2004). There is NO Good Reason to Be an Academic Skeptic. In Luper Steven (ed.), Essential Knowledge. Longman.
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  41. Peter D. Klein (2004). What IS Wrong with Foundationalism is That It Cannot Solve the Epistemic Regress Problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):166–171.
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  42. Peter D. Klein (2000). Why Not Infinitism? Epistemology 5:199-208.
    As the Pyrrhonians made clear, reasons that adequately justify beliefs can have only three possible structures: foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism. Infinitism—the view that adequate reasons for our beliefs are infinite and non-repeating—has never been developed carefully, much less advocated. In this paper, I will argue that only infinitism can satisfy two intuitively plausible constraints on good reasoning: the avoidance of circular reasoning and the avoidance of arbitrariness. Further, I will argue that infinitism requires serious, but salutary, revisions in our evaluation (...)
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  43. Peter D. Klein (1999). Human Knowledge and the Infinite Regress of Reasons. Philosophical Perspectives 13 (s13):297-325.
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  44. Peter D. Klein & John Turri, Infinitism in Epistemology. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Infinitism in Epistemology This article provides an overview of infinitism in epistemology. Infinitism is a family of views in epistemology about the structure of knowledge and epistemic justification. It contrasts naturally with coherentism and foundationalism. All three views agree that knowledge or justification requires an appropriately structured chain of reasons. What form may such a […].
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  45. Peter Klein & John Turri (forthcoming). Infinitism. Oxford Bibliographies Online.
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  46. Jonathan L. Kvanvig (2012). ``Infinitism, Holism, and the Regress Argument&Quot. In Peter Klein & John Turri (eds.), Infinitism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  47. Alfred H. Lloyd (1911). Dualism, Parallelism and Infinitism. Mind 20 (78):212-234.
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  48. Jeanne Peijnenburg (2007). Infinitism Regained. Mind 116 (463):597 - 602.
    Consider the following process of epistemic justification: proposition $E_{0}$ is made probable by $E_{1}$ which in turn is made probable by $E_{2}$ , which is made probable by $E_{3}$ , and so on. Can this process go on indefinitely? Foundationalists, coherentists, and sceptics claim that it cannot. I argue that it can: there are many infinite regresses of probabilistic reasoning that can be completed. This leads to a new form of epistemic infinitism.
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  49. Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson (2014). The Need for Justification. Metaphilosophy 45 (2):201-210.
    Some series can go on indefinitely, others cannot, and epistemologists want to know in which class to place epistemic chains. Is it sensible or nonsensical to speak of a proposition or belief that is justified by another proposition or belief, ad infinitum? In large part the answer depends on what we mean by “justification.” Epistemologists have failed to find a definition on which everybody agrees, and some have even advised us to stop looking altogether. In spite of this, the present (...)
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  50. Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson (2008). Probabilistic Justification and the Regress Problem. Studia Logica 89 (3):333 - 341.
    We discuss two objections that foundationalists have raised against infinite chains of probabilistic justification. We demonstrate that neither of the objections can be maintained.
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