Acta Analytica

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Epistemic Risk and Relativism

  • Wayne D. RiggsEmail author


It is generally assumed that there are (at least) two fundamental epistemic goals: believing truths, and avoiding the acceptance of falsehoods. As has been often noted, these goals are in conflict with one another. Moreover, the norms governing rational belief that we should derive from these two goals depend on how we weight them relative to one another. However, it is not obvious that there is one objectively correct weighting for everyone in all circumstances. Indeed, as I shall argue, it looks as though there are circumstances in which a range of possible weightings of the two goals are all equally epistemically rational.


Justification Epistemology Risk Relativism Theory of knowledge 


  1. James, W. (1969). The moral philosophy of William James. New York: The Thomas Y. Crowell Co.Google Scholar
  2. Riggs, W. (2003). Balancing our epistemic ends. Noûs, 37.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OklahomaNormanUSA

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