Philosophical Studies

, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 525–557

Problems for Dogmatism


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-004-7487-9

Cite this article as:
White, R. Philos Stud (2006) 131: 525. doi:10.1007/s11098-004-7487-9


I argue that its appearing to you that P does not provide justification for believing that P unless you have independent justification for the denial of skeptical alternatives – hypotheses incompatible with P but such that if they were true, it would still appear to you that P. Thus I challenge the popular view of ‘dogmatism,’ according to which for some contents P, you need only lack reason to suspect that skeptical alternatives are true, in order for an experience as of P to justify belief that P. I pursue three lines of objection to dogmatism, having to do with probabilistic reasoning, considerations of future or hypothetically available justification, and epistemic circularity. I briefly sketch a fall-back position which avoids the problems raised.

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNew York UniversityNew York