Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification by Kevin McCain

By Kevin McCain

Evidentialism is a well-liked conception of epistemic justification, but, as early proponents of the speculation Earl Conee and Richard Feldman admit, there are lots of parts that has to be constructed earlier than Evidentialism grants a whole account of epistemic justification, or well-founded trust. it's the target of this publication to supply the main points which are missing; the following McCain strikes earlier Evidentialism as an insignificant schema by way of affirming and protecting a full-fledged idea of epistemic justification. during this publication McCain deals novel methods to a number of parts of well-founded trust. Key between those are an unique account of what it takes to have details as proof, an account of epistemic aid by way of clarification, and a causal account of the basing relation (the relation that one's trust needs to endure to her proof with a view to be justified) that's a long way more advantageous to earlier money owed. the result's a completely constructed Evidentialist account of well-founded trust.

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Given the significance of the problem, it would be a mark against a theory if it simply did away with the problem by defining evidence in a manner that automatically rules out external world skepticism. 12 Second, psychologism does not make responding to external world skepticism impossible from either an internalist or an externalist perspective. For example, one prominent internalist response to skepticism is the Explanationist Response. 13 Externalists who accept psychologism also have ways of responding to external world skepticism.

So, psychologism and propositionalism are in agreement concerning how it is that we have evidence; they simply disagree about the ontology of the evidence that we have. As explained in Chapter 1, the evidentialist theory that I am interested in defending is both mentalist and internalist. That is, I am concerned with defending a theory of epistemic justification that respects both of the following principles: The justificatory status of a person’s doxastic attitudes strongly supervene on the person’s occurrent and dispositional mental states, events, and conditions.

For instance, a cause of the house’s burning down was the presence of oxygen in the environment. After all, without oxygen in the environment, the fire could not have started in the first place and the house would not have burned. Although the presence of oxygen in the environment is part of the explanation for why the house burned down, simply noting that there was oxygen present will not fully explain why the house burned down. So, in order for (5) to be plausible, “explains” has to mean something like “is part of an explanation”.

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