The Deontological Conception of Epistemic Justification - A Reassessment

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Abstrakt

This paper undertakes two projects: Firstly, it offers a new account of the so-called deontological conception of epistemic justification (DCEJ). Secondly, it brings out the basic weaknesses of DCEJ, thus accounted for. It concludes that strong reasons speak against its acceptance. The new account takes it departure from William Alston's influential work. Section 1 argues that a fair account of DCEJ is only achieved by modifying Alston's account and brings out the crucial difference between DCEJ and the less radical position of epistemic deontologism. Section 2 starts by setting up two fundamental problems for proponents of DCEJ to solve. It argues further that proponents of DCEJ may not convincingly solve those problems by appeal to a notion of permissible belief. Section 3 investigates, whether an appeal to the notion of blameless belief may help DCEJ overcome its central problems. It argues that, even if an appeal to the notion of blameless belief has advantages over an appeal to the notion of permissible belief, DCEJ cannot convincingly overcome the problems set up for it. Further, it is brought out that DCEJ commits its proponents to a problematic non-standard view regarding the intrinsic value of epistemic justification. Section 4 concludes that DCEJ is not the natural conception of epistemic justification, that Alston takes it to be. However, its problems do not leave a scratch on epistemic deontologism, properly conceived.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSynthese
Vol/bind190
Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)2219-2241
ISSN0039-7857
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2013

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