Bootstrap and rollback: generalizing epistemic circularity

Synthese 189 (2):395-413 (2012)
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Abstract

Reliabilists accept the possibility of basic knowledge—knowledge that p in virtue of the reliability of some belief-producing process r without antecedent knowledge that r is reliable. Cohen (Philos Phenomenol Res 65:309–329, 2002 , Philos Phenomenol Res 70:417–430, 2005 ) and Vogel (J Philos 97:602–623, 2000 , J Philos 105:518–539, 2008 ) have argued that one can bootstrap knowledge that r is reliable from basic knowledge. This paper provides a diagnosis of epistemic bootstrapping, and then shows that recent attempts at embracing bootstrapped knowledge are found wanting. Instead it is argued that such arguments are afflicted by a novel kind of generalized epistemic circularity. The ensuing view is defended against various objections, and an explanation of the source of that circularity is offered

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Jesper Kallestrup
University of Aberdeen

Citations of this work

Extended Rationality: A Hinge Epistemology.Annalisa Coliva - 2015 - London, England: Palgrave-Macmillan.
What’s the matter with epistemic circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
Easy Practical Knowledge.Timothy Kearl & J. Adam Carter - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
Extended circularity: a new puzzle for extended cognition.Joseph Adam Carter & Jesper Kallestrup - 2018 - In Joseph Adam Carter, Andy Clark, Jesper Kallestrup, Spyridon Palermos & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Extended Epistemology. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 42-63.

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References found in this work

Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The skeptic and the dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Seeing And Knowing.Fred I. Dretske - 1969 - Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
Epistemic operators.Fred I. Dretske - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (24):1007-1023.

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