ch 7-9 - Knowledge and Reality Notes on Chapter 7 - 9 Chris...

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Chapter 7 1. Epistemic Relativism Defeated Boghossian gave us a strong (not to mention typical) argument in favor of epistemic relativism in Chapter 5. He gave us a couple of strong (and novel) arguments against epistemic relativism in Chapter 6. We thus have good reasons to accept relativism and good reasons to reject it. What to do now? Chapter 7 takes on the argument for epistemic relativism quoted above. The main obstacle to confront is the notion of norm circularity : Norm Circularity : any judgment as to whether my epistemic system is good or bad must be made using the principles of my epistemic system. Norm circularity is what grounds the reason for believing epistemic relativism which says that it is not possible to arrive at justiFed beliefs about what absolute epistemic facts there are (what Boghossian labels "JustiFcation" on p96). ±or, if my judgments about epistemic facts are validated only by my pre-existing beliefs about how to validate epistemic facts, then I can never break out of the circle to arrive at justiFed beliefs about absolute epistemic facts. JustiFcation : it is not possible to arrive at any justiFed beliefs about what epis- temic facts there are. Boghossian aims to undermine JustiFcation by undermining norm circularity. The problem for JustiFcation, according to Boghossian, is that it applies in only a very special case –– viz., when we legitimately come to doubt our own epistemic system. Otherwise (that is, whenever we don't have a reason to doubt our epistemic system), we will be entitled to the beliefs justiFed by our epistemic system, and our beliefs about other epistemic systems will be justiFed in the same way that our beliefs about everything else we believe gets justiFed. A standard case in which we might come to legitimately doubt our own epistemic system is when we
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ch 7-9 - Knowledge and Reality Notes on Chapter 7 - 9 Chris...

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