Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 1-24 Open Access
  3. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 25-58 Open Access
  4. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 59-82 Open Access
  5. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 83-100 Open Access
  6. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 101-117 Open Access
  7. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 119-142 Open Access
  8. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 143-165 Open Access
  9. David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg
    Pages 167-190 Open Access
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 191-238

About this book


This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.
This book addresses the age-old problem of infinite regresses in epistemology. How can we ever come to know something if knowing requires having good reasons, and reasons can only be good if they are backed by good reasons in turn? The problem has puzzled philosophers ever since antiquity, giving rise to what is often called Agrippa's Trilemma. The current volume approaches the old problem in a provocative and thoroughly contemporary way. Taking seriously the idea that good reasons are typically probabilistic in character, it develops and defends a new solution that challenges venerable philosophical intuitions and explains why they were mistakenly held. Key to the new solution is the phenomenon of fading foundations, according to which distant reasons are less important than those that are nearby. The phenomenon takes the sting out of Agrippa's Trilemma; moreover, since the theory that describes it is general and abstract, it is readily applicable outside epistemology, notably to debates on infinite regresses in metaphysics. The book is a potential game-changer and a must for any advanced student or researcher in the field.


Epistemic Justification Infinite Regress Regresses in Epistemology Regresses in Ethics Regresses in Metaphysics Regresses in Philosophy of Mind Open Access

Authors and affiliations

  • David Atkinson
    • 1
  • Jeanne Peijnenburg
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-58294-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-58295-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site