How Are Basic Belief-Forming Methods Justified?

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):547–579 (2008)
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Abstract

In this paper, we develop an account of the justification thinkers have for employing certain basic belief-forming methods. The guiding idea is inspired by Reichenbach's work on induction. There are certain projects in which thinkers are rationally required to engage. Thinkers are epistemically justified in employing any belief-forming method such that "if it doesn't work, nothing will" for successfully engaging in such a project. We present a detailed account based on this intuitive thought and address objections to it. We conclude by commenting on the implications that our account may have for other important epistemological issues and debates.

Author Profiles

David Enoch
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Joshua Schechter
Brown University

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