Philosophical Studies

, Volume 141, Issue 3, pp 399–407 | Cite as

Boghossian’s Fear of Knowledge

  • Ernest Sosa

“Absolute (non-relative) epistemic facts, if there are any, must be knowable. At a minimum, if <e> is such a fact, then it must be justifiably credible.” So begins an argument that there can be no such facts. For there are reasons to consider it impossible to arrive at any such justified belief. Epistemic facts, if there are any, would then have to be non-absolute, and expressible rather by claims of the form: According to the epistemic system that I, S, accept, information E justifies belief B(e).

This comports with an Epistemic Relativism concerning epistemic systems, sets of epistemic principles that specify what one is or is not epistemically obliged or permitted to believe in various circumstances. Such Relativism features a thesis of Pluralism, according to which there are many fundamentally different, genuinely alternative epistemic systems, but no facts by virtue of which any of these systems is more nearly correct than any of the others. 1

Boghossian’s defense of absolute...


Justify Belief Epistemic Justification Epistemic Relativism Legitimate Reason Positive Reason 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Boghossian, P. (2006). Fear of knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Fumerton, R. (1995). Metaepistemology and skepticism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  3. Sosa, E. (2007). A virtue epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

Personalised recommendations