Why Worry about Epistemic Circularity?

Authors
Michael Lynch
University of Connecticut
Paul Silva Jr.
University of Cologne
Abstract
Although Alston believed epistemically circular arguments were able to justify their conclusions, he was also disquieted by them. We will argue that Alston was right to be disquieted. We explain Alston’s view of epistemic circularity, the considerations that led him to accept it, and the purposes he thought epistemically circular arguments could serve. We then build on some of Alston’s remarks and introduce further limits to the usefulness of such arguments and introduce a new problem that stems from those limits. The upshot is that adopting Alston’s view that epistemically circular arguments can be used to justify their conclusions is more costly than even he thought.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr20165362
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