The Problem of the Criterion
One important source of skepticism that deserves to be mentioned is the one that is given expression to by the so-called “problem of the criterion.” The idea behind the problem is that any attempt at attaining epistemically justified beliefs incurs the charge of circularity or vicious regress. To be more precise, what the problem of the criterion highlights is the difficulty arising from trying to determine the extent of knowledge (justified belief) as well as formulating the criteria of such epistemic values. Although with ancient roots, the problem of the criterion found its most explicit formulation in the works of Roderick Chisholm. But despite Chisholm’s efforts and subsequent discussions, there is as yet no general consensus over the exact structure of the problem. It has been thought to be concerned with phenomena as diverse as truth, knowledge, epistemic principles, and so on, with each version requiring its own special treatment.
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