Dialogue (1):1-40 (2013)

Kenneth R. Westphal
Bogazici University
This paper explicates and argues for the thesis that individual rational judgment, of the kind required for rational justification in non-formal, substantive domains – i.e. in empirical knowledge or in morals (both ethics and justice) – is in fundamental part socially and historically based, although these social and historical aspects of rational justification are consistent with realism about the objects of empirical knowledge and with strict objectivity about basic moral principles. The central thesis is that, to judge fully rationally that one judges – in ways which provide rational justification of one’s judgment about any substantive matter – requires recognising one’s inherent fallibility and consequently also recognising our mutual interdependence for assessing our own and each others’ judgments and their justification. This explication provides a pragmatic account of rational justification in substantive domains which puts paid to the traditional distinction, still influential today, between ‘rational’ and ‘historical’ knowledge. (Note: This paper is a counterpart to Westphal 2011b; each paper contains substantial material not included in the other.)
Keywords Dilemma of the Criterion  Pragmatic Realism  Social epistemology  rational justification  mutual recognition  foundationalism  coherentism  self-criticism  constructive mutual assessment
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1017/s0012217313000796
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References found in this work BETA

Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Knowledge and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
Conclusive Reasons.Fred I. Dretske - 1971 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):1-22.
The Fragility of Goodness.Martha Nussbaum - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):376-383.

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Citations of this work BETA

Enlightenment, Reason and Universalism: Kant’s Critical Insights.Kenneth Westphal - 2016 - Studies in East European Thought 68 (2-3):127-148.
How Kant Justifies Freedom of Agency.Kenneth R. Westphal - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1695-1717.

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