David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 55 (1):97 - 118 (1983)
A central problem in epistemology concerns the justification of beliefs about epistemic principles, i.e., principles stating which kinds of beliefs are justified and which not. It is generally regarded as circular to justify such beliefs empirically. However, some recent defenders of foundationalism have argued that, within a foundationalist framework, one can justify beliefs about epistemic principles empirically without incurring the charge of vicious circularity. The key to this position is a sharp distinction between first- and second-level justifiedness.In this paper I first argue that such versions of foundationalism end up giving their approval to circular chains and are therefore unmotivated; if circular chains are acceptable, the classic regress argument for foundationalism does not go through. I then consider and reject two other ways in which the foundationalist might motivate his position. At the end of the paper I draw from this discussion a moral concerning the airns of epistemological theorizing.
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References found in this work BETA
Wilfrid Sellars (1963). Science, Perception, and Reality. New York, Humanities Press.
Alvin Goldman (1979). ``What is Justified Belief?". In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel 1-25.
Laurence Bonjour (1980). Externalist Theories of Empirical Knowledge. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):53-73.
Laurence BonJour (1978). Can Empirical Knowledge Have a Foundation? American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):1-14.
Wilfrid Sellars & Hector-Neri Castañeda (eds.) (1975). Action, Knowledge, and Reality. Indianapolis,Bobbs-Merrill.
Citations of this work BETA
James van Cleve (2011). Can Coherence Generate Warrant Ex Nihilo? Probability and the Logic of Concurring Witnesses. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):337-380.
Michael Levin (1993). Reliabilism and Induction. Synthese 97 (3):297 - 334.
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