Philosophia

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 413–432 | Cite as

Epistemic Principles and Epistemic Circularity

Article

Abstract

Can we show that our senses are reliable sources of information about the world? To show this, we need to establish that most of our perceptual judgments have been true. But we cannot determine these inductive instances without relying upon sense perception. Thus, it seems, we cannot establish the reliability of sense perception by means of an argument without falling into epistemic circularity. In this paper, I argue that this consequence is not an epistemological disaster. For this purpose, I defend a normative claim that it is reasonable to accept the general reliability of our perceptual judgments, instead of a factual claim that our perceptual judgments are generally reliable. More specifically, I offer a normative practical argument which explains why it is reasonable to accept the general reliability of our perceptual judgments, even though we cannot establish the general reliability of our perceptual judgments by means of theoretical reasoning.

Keywords

Epistemic circularity Epistemic first principle Instrumental reasoning Epistemic presumption Wilfrid Sellars Crispin Wright 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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