In Defense of Epistemic Circularity

Acta Analytica 26 (3):223-241 (2011)
Abstract
In this paper I defend epistemic circularity by arguing that the “No Self-Support” principle (NSS) is false. This principle, ultimately due to Fumerton ( 1995 ), states that one cannot acquire a justified belief in the reliability of a source of belief by trusting that very source. I argue that NSS has the skeptical consequence that the trustworthiness of all of our sources ultimately depends upon the trustworthiness of certain fundamental sources – sources that we cannot justifiably believe to be reliable. This is a problem, I claim, because if the trustworthiness of all of our sources depends upon sources that we should not believe to be reliable, then a reflective individual should not trust any of his sources at all. The hidden cost of rejecting epistemic circularity is thus the unacceptable skeptical thesis that reflective individuals like you and I have no justified beliefs whatsoever
Keywords Epistemic circularity  Self-support  Skepticism  Fumerton
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References found in this work BETA
Michael Bergmann (2000). Externalism and Skepticism. Philosophical Review 109 (2):159-194.
Michael Bergmann (2004). Epistemic Circularity: Malignant and Benign. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):709–727.
Stewart Cohen (2002). Basic Knowledge and the Problem of Easy Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):309-329.

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