Well-Founded Belief and the Contingencies of Epistemic Location

In Patrick Bondy & J. Adam Carter (eds.), Well Founded Belief: New Essays on the Epistemic Basing Relation. London: Routledge. pp. 275-304 (2020)
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Abstract

A growing number of philosophers are concerned with the epistemic status of culturally nurtured beliefs, beliefs found especially in domains of morals, politics, philosophy, and religion. Plausibly, worries about the deep impact of cultural contingencies on beliefs in these domains of controversial views is a question about well-foundedness: Does it defeat well-foundedness if the agent is rationally convinced that she would take her own reasons for belief as insufficiently well-founded, or would take her own belief as biased, had she been nurtured in a different psychographic community? This chapter will examine the proper scope and force of this epistemic location problem. It sketches an account of well and ill-founded nurtured belief based upon the many markers of doxastic strategies exhibiting low to high degrees of inductive risk: the moral and epistemic risk of ‘getting it wrong’ in an inductive context of inquiry.

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Guy Axtell
Radford University

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