Conservatism, Basic Beliefs, and the Diachronic and Social Nature of Epistemic Justification

Episteme 2 (3):203-218 (2006)

Authors
Jeremy Koons
Georgetown University
Abstract
Discussions of conservatism in epistemology often fail to demonstrate that the principle of conservatism is supported by epistemic considerations. In this paper, I hope to show two things. First, there is a defensible version of the principle of conservatism, a version that applies only to what I will call our basic beliefs. Those who deny that conservatism is supported by epistemic considerations do so because they fail to take into account the necessarily social, diachronic and self-correcting nature of our epistemic practice. Second, I will attempt to show how our basic beliefs are justified via this principle of conservatism.
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Reprint years 2005, 2006
DOI 10.3366/epi.2005.2.3.203
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Science, Perception and Reality.Wilfrid Sellars - 1963 - New York: Humanities Press.

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