Advertisement

Philosophical Studies

, Volume 152, Issue 3, pp 347–359 | Cite as

Defeating the self-defeat argument for phenomenal conservativism

  • John M. DePoe
Article

Abstract

Michael Huemer has argued for the justification principle known as phenomenal conservativism by employing a transcendental argument that claims all attempts to reject phenomenal conservativism ultimately are doomed to self-defeat. My contribution presents two independent arguments against the self-defeat argument for phenomenal conservativism after briefly presenting Huemer’s account of phenomenal conservativism and the justification for the self-defeat argument. My first argument suggests some ways that philosophers may reject Huemer’s premise that all justified beliefs are formed on the basis of seemings. In the second argument I contend that phenomenal conservativism is not a well-motivated account of internal justification, which is a further reason to reject the self-defeat argument. Consequently, the self-defeat argument fails to show that rejecting phenomenal conservativism inevitably leads one to a self-defeating position.

Keywords

Phenomenal conservativism Michael Huemer Self-defeat Basing relation Direct acquaintance Internalism Externalism Justification 

References

  1. Bergmann, M. (2007). Justification without awareness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. BonJour, L. (1985). The structure of empirical knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. BonJour, L. (2003). A version of internalist foundationalism. In Epistemic justification (pp. 3–96). Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  4. Conee, E., & Feldman, R. (2004). Evidentialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fales, E. (1996). A defense of the given. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  6. Fumerton, R. (1995). Metaepistemology and skepticism. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  7. Fumerton, R. (2008). Epistemic conservativism: Theft or honest toil. In T. Gendler & J. Hawthorne’s (Eds.), Oxford studies in epistemology (pp. 63–86). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Huemer, M. (2001). Skepticism and the veil of perception. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  9. Huemer, M. (2007). Compassionate phenomenal conservativism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 74, 30–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lehrer, K. (2000). Theory of knowledge (2nd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  11. Lewis, C. I. (1929). Mind and the world-order. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  12. Markie, P. (2005). The mystery of perceptual justification. Philosophical Studies, 126, 406–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. McGrew, T., & McGrew, L. (2007). Internalism and epistemology. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Pollock, J., & Cruz, J. (1999). Contemporary theories of knowledge (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  15. Price, H. H. (1950). Perception (2nd ed.). London: Meuthen.Google Scholar
  16. Russell, B. (1912). The problems of philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Steup, M. (2004). Internalist reliabilism. Philosophical Issues, 14, 403–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

Personalised recommendations