Philosophical Papers 40 (3):395-419 (2011)
|Abstract||Abstract This paper develops an explanationist treatment of the problem of the criterion. Explanationism is the view that all justified reasoning is justified in virtue of the explanatory virtues: simplicity, fruitfulness, testability, scope, and conservativeness. A crucial part of the explanationist framework is achieving wide reflective equilibrium. I argue that explanationism offers a plausible solution to the problem of the criterion. Furthermore, I argue that a key feature of explanationism is the plasticity of epistemic judgments and epistemic methods. The explanationist does not offer any fixed judgments or methods to guide epistemic conduct; even the explanatory virtues themselves are subject to change. This feature of explanationism gives it an advantage over non-explanationist views that offer fixed epistemic judgments and epistemic methods. The final section of this paper responds to objections to explanationism|
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