Optimality justifications: new foundations for foundation-oriented epistemology
In this paper a new conception of foundation-oriented epistemology is developed. The major challenge for foundation-oriented justifications consists in the problem of stopping the justificational regress without taking recourse to dogmatic assumptions or circular reasoning. Two alternative accounts that attempt to circumvent this problem, coherentism and externalism, are critically discussed and rejected as unsatisfactory. It is argued that optimality arguments are a new type of foundation-oriented justification that can stop the justificational regress. This is demonstrated on the basis of a novel result in the area of induction: the optimality of meta-induction. In the final section the method of optimality justification is generalized to deductive and abductive inferences.
KeywordsOptimality justification Meta-induction Foundation-oriented epistemology Coherentism Internalism Externalism
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