A Uniform Account of Regress Problems

Acta Analytica 32 (3) (2017)

Authors
David Löwenstein
Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena
Abstract
This paper presents a uniform general account of regress problems in the form of a pentalemma—i.e., a set of five mutually inconsistent claims. Specific regress problems can be analyzed as instances of such a general schema, and this Regress Pentalemma Schema can be employed to generate deductively valid arguments from the truth of a subset of four claims to the falsity of the fifth. Thus, a uniform account of the nature of regress problems allows for an improved understanding of specific regress objections or arguments, and, correspondingly, of the general logical geography of the debate about infinite regresses. This uniform approach is illustrated by a treatment of the classical epistemological problem of justification, but it encompasses a whole variety of cases including explanation and ontological grounding. Furthermore, this general account is compared and contrasted with the existing literature discussing argument schemata for regress objections, particularly with the work of Jan Willem Wieland. It is shown how such other schemata can be incorporated and superseded by the general Regress Pentalemma Schema.
Keywords infinite regress  regress argument  regress objection  regress problem  vicious regress  justification  agrippa's trilemma  explanation  grounding
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Reprint years 2017
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-016-0310-3
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References found in this work BETA

Infinite Regress Arguments.Jan Willem Wieland - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (1):95-109.
Filling a Typical Gap in a Regress Argument.Jan Willem Wieland - 2011 - Logique and Analyse 54 (216):589-–597.
Regress Argument Reconstruction.Jan Willem Wieland - 2012 - Argumentation 26 (4):489-503.
Strong and Weak Regress Arguments.Jan Willem Wieland - 2013 - Logique and Analyse 224:439-461.

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Citations of this work BETA

Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Löwenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
Infinite Barbarians.Daniel Nolan - 2019 - Ratio 32 (3):173-181.

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