Philosophical Studies

, Volume 172, Issue 7, pp 1847–1868 | Cite as

Evidentialism, circularity, and grounding

  • Bob Beddor


This paper explores what happens if we construe evidentialism as a thesis about the metaphysical grounds of justification. According to grounding evidentialism, facts about what a subject is justified in believing are grounded in facts about that subject’s evidence. At first blush, grounding evidentialism appears to enjoy advantages over a more traditional construal of evidentialism as a piece of conceptual analysis. However, appearances are deceiving. I argue that grounding evidentialists are unable to provide a satisfactory story about what grounds the evidential facts, and that this provides good reason to reject grounding evidentialism.


Evidentialism Grounding Circularity Justification Evidence Reliabilism 



Special thanks to Alvin Goldman, for extensive feedback and consistent encouragement. Thanks also to Marco Dees, Andy Egan, Simon Goldstein, Lisa Mirrachi, Carlotta Pavese, Jonathan Schaffer, Susanna Schellenberg, Alex Skiles, Ernest Sosa, Kurt Sylvan, Tobias Wilsch, an anonymous referee, and participants in the Third International Summer School in Cognitive Science and Semantics for helpful comments and conversations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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