- My Evidentialist Epistemology
- Onto-Relationships and Epistemology
- Why Plantinga’s Warrant Cannot Circumvent the Gettier Problem
- A General Rule for Gettier Cases
- Empiricism and Being in the Right Phenomenological Frame of Mind
- Meet Philosopher Linda Zagzebski
- The Connection Between Phenomenology and Existentialism
- A Response to Alvin Plantinga’s “The Reformed Objection to Natural Theology”
- Alex Rosenberg on Whether Philosophy Emerges from Science
- Steven Wykstra’s “Toward a Sensible Evidentialism: ‘On the Notion of Needing Evidence.’”
- Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Epistemology
- New Paper: “Epistemological Scientific Realism and the Onto-Relationship of Inferentially Justified and Non-Inferentially Justified Beliefs”
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In this post I’ll be responding to R.A. Fumerton’s “Inferential Justification and Empiricism” in The Journal of Philosophy 73/17 (1976).
In this paper Fumerton argues for the empiricist’s version of foundationalism. He draws important distinctions between senses of how one may be inferentially justified. His argument is matched against another argument, which proceeds from observations about what we do and do not infer. His primary contention is that is that one can never have a noninfterentially justified belief in a physical-object proposition. One must always justify one’s beliefs in propositions about the physical world by appealing to other beliefs or basic beliefs; a thesis I disagree with.
I will be faithful to knowledge being defined as a justified true belief. The task that is of concern in this paper is to examine the coherence of inferential reasoning in a foundationalist’s system. A problem with inference to the best explanation (IBE) is that it has the potential to create an infinite regress. With inferential reasoning, in an attempt to justify a belief in proposition P there may be an appeal to another proposition (or set of propositions) E, and by either explicitly or implicitly appeal to a third proposition, that E confirms or makes P probable. The challenge of inferential justification challenges one of two propositions: