Reciprocal justification in science and moral theory

Synthese 110 (3):447-468 (1997)
In this paper, I analyze the particular conception of reciprocal justification proposed by Nelson Goodman and incorporated by John Rawls into what he called reflective equilibrium. I propose a way of avoiding the twin dangers which threaten to push this idea to either of two extremes: the reliance on epistemically privileged observation reports (or moral judgments in Rawls version), which tends to disrupt the balance struck between the two sides of the equilibrium and to re-establish a foundationalism; and the denial of any privileged status to such reports (or judgments), which makes the equilibrium into a theoretical monolith.
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