Three Independent Factors in Epistemology

Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (2):89–109 (2009)
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Abstract

We articulate John Dewey’s “independent factors” approach to moral philosophy and then adapt and extend this approach to address contemporary debate concerning the nature and sources of epistemic normativity. We identify three factors (agent reliability, synchronic rationality, and diachronic rationality) as each making a permanent contribution to epistemic value. Critical of debates that stem from the reductionistic ambitions of epistemological systems that privilege of one or another of these three factors, we advocate an axiological pluralism that acknowledges each factor as an independent “spring” of epistemic value within responsible inquiry.

Author's Profile

Guy Axtell
Radford University

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