Epistemic justification in the context of pursuit: a coherentist approach

Synthese 191 (13):3111-3141 (2014)

Dunja Šešelja
Eindhoven University of Technology
The aim of this paper is to offer an account of epistemic justification suitable for the context of theory pursuit, that is, for the context in which new scientific ideas, possibly incompatible with the already established theories, emerge and are pursued by scientists. We will frame our account paradigmatically on the basis of one of the influential systems of epistemic justification: Laurence Bonjour’s coherence theory of justification. The idea underlying our approach is to develop a set of criteria which indicate that the pursued system is promising of contributing to the epistemic goal of robustness of scientific knowledge and of developing into a candidate for acceptance. In order to realize this we will (a) adjust the scope of Bonjour’s standards—consistency, inferential density, and explanatory power, and (b) complement them by the requirement of a programmatic character. In this way we allow for the evaluation of the “potential coherence” of the given epistemic system
Keywords Epistemic justification  Coherence  Bonjour  Inconsistency  Explanatory power  Pursuit worthiness  Robustness
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0476-4
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References found in this work BETA

Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather E. Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
Science, Truth, and Democracy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Oxford University Press.

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