Epistemic Infinite Regress and the Limits of Metaphysical Knowledge

Oxford Studies in Epistemology (forthcoming)
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Abstract

I will explore the paradoxical nature of epistemic access. By critiquing the traditional conception of mental states that are labelled as ’knowledge’, I demonstrate the susceptibility of these states to an infinite regress, thus, challenging their existence and validity. I scrutinise the assumption that an epistemic agent can have complete epistemic access to all facts about a given object while simultaneously being ignorant of certain truths that impact the very knowledge claims about the object. I further analyse the implications of this paradox when attempting to fine-grain the parameters of epistemic access, which happens to reveal the vacuity of such definitions and the inevitability of the regress.

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Wilfrid Wulf
University of Oxford

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