An agent’s belief in a proposition, E0, is justified by an infinite regress of deferred justification just in case the belief that E0 is justified, and the justification for believing E0 proceeds from an infinite sequence of propositions, E0, E1, E2, etc., where, for all n ≥ 0, En+1 serves as the justification for En. In a number of recent articles, Atkinson and Peijnenburg claim to give examples where a belief is justified by an infinite regress of deferred justification. I argue here that there is no reason to regard Atkinson and Peijnenburg’s examples as cases where a belief is so justified. My argument is supported by careful consideration of the grounds upon which relevant beliefs are held within Atkinson and Peijnenburg’s examples.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Work on this article was supported by DFG Grant SCHU1566/9-1 as part of the priority programme “New Frameworks of Rationality” (SPP 1516). For helpful comments on an earlier presentation of this paper, I thank an audience at University of Düsseldorf. I also thank Ludwig Fahrbach, David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg, Ionannis Votsis, and an anonymous referee for Philosophia, for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
Aikin, S. (2008). Meta-epistemology and the varieties of epistemic infinitism. Synthese, 163(2), 175–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Aikin, S. (2011). Epistemology and the regress problem. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
Atkinson, D., & Peijnenburg, J. (2009). Justification by an infinity of conditional probabilities. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 50, 183–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dancy, J. (1985). Introduction to contemporary epistemology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Gillett, C. (2003). Infinitism Redux? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 66, 709–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klein, P. (1998). Foundationalism and the infinite regress of reasons. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 58, 919–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klein, P. (2007). Human knowledge and the infinite progress of reasoning. Philosophical Studies, 134, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moser, P. (1985). Whither infinite regresses of justification? Southern Journal of Philosophy, 23, 65–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peijnenburg, J., & Atkinson, D. (2013). The emergence of justification. The Philosophical Quarterly, 63(252), 546–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peijnenburg, J., & Atkinson, D. (2014a). Can an infinite regress justify everything? In J. Turri & P. Klein (Eds.), Ad infinitum: new essays on epistemological infinitism (pp. 162–178). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peijnenburg, J., & Atkinson, D. (2014b). The need for justification. Metaphilosophy, 45(2), 201–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Post, J. (1980). Infinite regresses of justification and of explanation. Philosophical Studies, 38(1), 31–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar