Epistemic Non-Factualism and Methodology

In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology (forthcoming)
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I discuss methodology in epistemology. I argue that settling the facts, even the epistemic facts, fails to settle the questions of intellectual policy at the center of our epistemic lives. An upshot is that the standard methodology of analyzing concepts like knowledge, justification, rationality, and so on is misconceived. More generally, any epistemic method that seeks to issue in intellectual policy by settling the facts, whether by way of abductive theorizing or empirical investigation, no matter how reliable, is inapt. The argument is a radicalization of Moore’s Open Question Argument. I conclude by considering the ramifications of this conclusion for the debate surrounding “Modal Security”, a proposed necessary condition on undermining defeat.

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Justin Clarke-Doane
Columbia University


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