Theorizing justification

In Knowledge and Skepticism. MIT Press (2010)
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The standard taxonomy of theories of epistemic justification generates four positions from the Foundationalism v. Coherentism and Internalism v. Externalism disputes. I develop a new taxonomy driven by two other distinctions: Fundamentalism v. Non-Fundamentalism and Actual-Result v. Proper-Aim conceptions of epistemic justification. Actual-Result theorists hold that a belief is justified only if, as an actual matter of fact, it is held or formed in a way that makes it more likely than not to be true. Proper-Aim theorists hold that a belief is justified only if it is held or formed in a way that it proper or correct insofar as truth is the aim or norm. Fundamentalists hold that which particular ways of holding or forming beliefs that confer justification is knowable a priori; epistemic principles are a priori necessary truths. Non- Fundamentalists disagree; epistemic principles are empirical contingent truths. The new taxonomy generates four positions: Cartesianism, Reliabilism, Intuitionism, and Pragmatism. The first two are Actual-Result; the second two are Proper-Aim. The first and third are Fundamentalist, the second and fourth are Non-Fundamentalist. The new taxonomy illuminates much of the current debate in the theory of epistemic justification.
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Archival date: 2011-05-01
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