, Volume 188, Issue 2, pp 273–287

Knowledge, doubt, and circularity


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-011-9927-3

Cite this article as:
Reed, B. Synthese (2012) 188: 273. doi:10.1007/s11229-011-9927-3


Ernest Sosa’s virtue perspectivism can be thought of as an attempt to capture as much as possible of the Cartesian project in epistemology while remaining within the framework of externalist fallibilism. I argue (a) that Descartes’s project was motivated by a desire for intellectual stability and (b) that his project does not suffer from epistemic circularity. By contrast, Sosa’s epistemology does entail epistemic circularity and, for this reason, proves unable to secure the sort of intellectual stability Descartes wanted. I then argue that this leaves Sosa’s epistemology vulnerable to an important kind of skepticism.


Knowledge Certainty Skepticism Doubt Circularity Descartes Epistemology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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