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Epistemology and the Regress Problem - download pdf or read online

By Scott Aikin

ISBN-10: 0415878004

ISBN-13: 9780415878005

In the decade, the popular challenge of the regress of purposes has lower back to well known attention in epistemology. And with the go back of the matter, evaluate of the choices to be had for its answer is started anew. Reason’s regress challenge, approximately positioned, is if one has stable purposes to think whatever, one should have sturdy cause to carry these purposes are reliable. And for these purposes, one should have extra purposes to carry they're stable, and so a regress of purposes looms. during this new examine, Aikin offers a whole case for infinitism as a reaction to the matter of the regress of purposes. Infinitism is the view that one should have a non-terminating chain of purposes that allows you to be justified. the main defensible type of infinitism, he argues, is that of a combined concept – that's, epistemic infinitism has to be in line with and combine different options to the regress problem.

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Extra info for Epistemology and the Regress Problem

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Consequently, a weaker version of the PAC can yield a case for the regress (and by extension, infi nitism), and so: (Weak-PAC): For all p, if person S has justification for p, then there is some q in p’s evidential ancestry, but p is not in q’s. Again Weak-PAC would allow some r to be evidentially symmetric with p, and that may contribute more to p’s support, but unless either has evidential support independent of their mutual support, p’s not justified (nor is r). All that is needed now for a problem is the view that tracks the following reasoning: since S’s reasons cannot go in a circle (on PAC) or stop (on PAA), they must go on infi nitely, which is not possible for a justifying series of reasons for S.

It is something we look to, make explicit, and deliberate about in our private and public reflections on what’s true, what’s worthy of our assent. In this respect, then, justification isn’t just having your own ducks in a row with regards to your own reasons. It’s also having a judgment (or being able to make a judgment) about how others with competing views have done with their cases and their judgment of yours. Justification worth having is certainly something that, as A. J. Ayer (1956, 36) rightly said, gives one the right to be sure, but it is also something that one can claim as a right.

And so it always seems in bounds to ask metastyle questions when a reason is given—whether it is true, how it supports, and so on. Flores says that meta-justification, consequently, is a desideratum The Regress Problem 39 of infi nitism (2005, 126–7). This is right to a degree, because infi nitism is a view, at least on the aspirational story, that a subject is always on the hook not just for the reasons the subject gives, but also for their quality of support, and the worth of the enterprise overall.

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Epistemology and the Regress Problem by Scott Aikin


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