How to combine evidentialism with knowledge-first epistemology

In Scott Stapleford, Kevin McCain & Matthias Steup (eds.), Evidentialism at 40: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge (forthcoming)
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The main aim of this paper is to present Evidential Knowledge First as a way to combine evidentialism against the background of a prominent epistemological framework: knowledge-first epistemology. To do so, first I consider the traditional way of developing evidentialism and argue that, while it vindicates the roles we expect evidence to play, it faces what I call the Individuation Challenge for non-inferential justification. I then consider another way of developing evidentialism, what I call ‚ÄúTechnically Evidentialism‚ÄĚ: this is what we get when we jointly take two core claims of the knowledge-first epistemological approach, e.g., E=K and J=K. I argue that, although it avoids the individuation problem that Traditional Evidentialism faces, this view is very far from the original spirit of evidentialism. Finally, I present Evidential Knowledge-first as a novel two-tiered account of knowledge. Evidential knowledge first is an example of how we should combine evidentialism and knowledge-first epistemology in a way that is in line with the spirit of Traditional Evidentialism, while avoiding its problems. A consequence of my view is that it allows for (non-inferential) knowledge without justification. I conclude by showing that this is a feature rather than a bug.

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Giada Fratantonio
University of Glasgow


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