The Bootstrapping Problem

Philosophy Compass 7 (9):597-610 (2012)
Bootstrapping is a suspicious form of reasoning that verifies a source's reliability by checking it against itself. Theories that endorse such reasoning face the bootstrapping problem. This article considers which theories face the problem, and surveys potential solutions. The initial focus is on theories like reliabilism and dogmatism, which allow one to gain knowledge from a source without knowing that it is reliable. But the discussion quickly turns to a more general version of the problem that does not depend on this allowance. Five potential solutions to the general problem are evaluated, and some implications for the literature on peer disagreement are considered.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2012.00504.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 21,439
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Clark Glymour (1980). Theory and Evidence. Princeton University Press.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Matthew Noah Smith (2016). One Dogma of Philosophy of Action. Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2249-2266.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Jonathan Weisberg (2010). Bootstrapping in General. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):525 - 548.
David Grünberg (2001). Bootstrapping and the Problem of Testing Quantitative Theoretical Hypotheses. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2001:143-150.
Peter J. Markie (2005). Easy Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):406–416.
Sam Mitchell (1995). Toward a Defensible Bootstrapping. Philosophy of Science 62 (2):241-260.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

165 ( #22,770 of 1,911,645 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

25 ( #27,321 of 1,911,645 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.