Epistemic circularity squared? Skepticism about common sense

Abstract
Epistemic circularity occurs when a subject forms the belief that a faculty F is reliable through the use of F. Although this is often thought to be vicious, externalist theories generally don't rule it out. For some philosophers, this is a reason to reject externalism. However, Michael Bergmann defends externalism by drawing on the tradition of common sense in two ways. First, he concedes that epistemically circular beliefs cannot answer a subject's doubts about her cognitive faculties. But, he argues, subjects don't have such doubts, so epistemically circular beliefs are rarely called upon to play this role. Second, following Thomas Reid, Bergmann argues that we have noninferential, though epistemically circular, knowledge that our faculties are reliable. I argue, however, that Bergmann's view is undermined by doubts a subject should have and that there is no plausible explanation for how we can have noninferential knowledge that our faculties are reliable
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2006.tb00610.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,781
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Socially Extended Knowledge.Jennifer Lackey - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):282-298.
Knowing From Testimony.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (5):432–448.
Epistemic Circularity and Common Sense: A Reply to Reed.Michael Bergmann - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):198-207.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Reflective Knowledge and Epistemic Circularity.C. S. I. Jenkins - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (3):305-325.
Common Sense.Michael De Medeiros - 2010 - Weigl Publishers.
Epistemic Circularity and the Problem of Cheap Credit.Anne Meylan - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (3):327-340.
Epistemic Circularity and Common Sense: A Reply to Reed.Michael Bergmann - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):198-207.
Sociology and Common Sense.David Thomas - 1978 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 21 (1-4):1 – 32.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
56 ( #97,105 of 2,199,496 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #61,684 of 2,199,496 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature