The value of reflection in epistemology

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Abstract
In this paper, I will assert that reflective performance produces something that is epistemically valuable. My argument depends on us stepping back from the scenario in which the dispute about internalism and externalism about knowledge and justification have developed over recent decades, in order to begin to consider certain, so far little explored, skeptical dialectic challenges. These are skeptical challenges in which individuals are challenged to evaluate and judge whether or not their beliefs are justified. As a rule, a person is presented with reasons to suspect the limitations of their subjective perspective about the evidence and reasons that dispose them to believe. In dialectical challenges between epistemic peers, both recognize that they are not in a better position than their interlocutor to believe. In this context, to continue the dialogue requires a critical reflective examination of their initial beliefs (with their evidence and reasons) and, in the end, the achievement of epistemic change: the person must improve, expand, deepen, better understand, guarantee, confirm, renounce, or suspend their judgment etc. In this sense, reflection is understood as a performance, an activity in which the person examines the evidence, content and reliability of their own beliefs. This performance may lead to different results, but if someone is capable of critically reflecting on their own beliefs in skeptical-dialectic contexts, this is a positive thing, whatever the result – contrary to people who, in the face of skeptical challenges, simply decide to remain intellectually immobile, maintaining a cowardly, arrogant or dogmatic position.
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Archival date: 2016-04-01
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