In defense of the gypsy lawyer: an analysis of doxastic justification


Authors
Daniel M. Mittag
Albion College
Abstract
It is widely recognized that in order for one's belief to be justified (in the sense of justification thought to be necessary for knowledge, i.e., doxastic justification) one's belief must be based on that which justifies it. Epistemologists, however, differ about the exact relation that the evidence must bear to one's belief in order for that belief to be doxastically justified. The various analyses of the basing relation that have been proposed can be divided into two main categories: causal accounts and non-causal accounts. In the second chapter I will explicate the central issues involved in providing an adequate causal account of the basing relation. I will consider various attempts to salvage causal accounts in light of Keith Lehrer's counterexample to such formulations of the basing relation, and I will argue that no satisfactory defense of causal theories has so far been given. Consequently, the correct explication of the basing relation must be noncausal. Through the consideration of various non-causal formulations of the basing relation in chapter three, I argue that the correct non-causal account must be reflective in nature. As a result, I argue that Lehrer's account is inadequate, and I conclude that the reflective account provided by Richard Foley is correct
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