On Doxastic Justification and Properly Basing One’s Beliefs
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According to an orthodox account of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification, basing one’s belief in P on one’s source of propositional justification to believe P suffices for having a doxastically justified belief. But in an increasingly recognized work Turri (Philos Phenomenol Res 80:312–326, 2010a) argues that this thesis fails and proposes a new view according to which having propositional justification depends on having the ability to acquire doxastic justification. Turri’s novel position has surprisingly far-reaching epistemological consequences, ruling out some common epistemological positions that afford one propositional justification in the absence of an ability to acquire doxastic justification (e.g., common forms of evidentialism, conservatism, and closure principles). In what follows I show Turri’s novel position to be problematic and go on to suggest a more modest revision to orthodoxy. The first section presents the orthodox view of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification and Turri’s counterexample to it. The second section introduces Turri’s novel view of that relationship and draws out some of its epistemological implications. The third section gives counterexamples to Turri’s proposal. The fourth section defends a modest revision to orthodoxy.
KeywordsIntellectual Handicap Justify Belief Perceptual Justification Closure Principle Skeptical Hypothesis
Special thanks to the AAP (Auckland, 2013) audience, John Williams, Greg Dawes, and Tim Oakley for their helpful comments.
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