Synthese 164 (1):117 - 139 (2008)

Kenneth Hobson
Iowa State University
I argue that our justification for beliefs about the external physical world need not be constituted by any justified beliefs about perceptual experiences. In this way our justification for beliefs about the physical world may be nondoxastic and this differentiates my proposal from traditional foundationalist theories such as those defended by Laurence BonJour, Richard Fumerton, and Timothy McGrew. On the other hand, it differs from certain non-traditional foundationalist theories such as that defended by James Pryor according to which perceptual experience is sufficient to justify beliefs about the external world. I propose that justification for propositions describing our perceptual experiences partially constitutes any justification we may possess for beliefs concerning the external world. In this way, our justification for beliefs about the physical world may only be inferential since it is grounded in any justification we have for at least one other proposition. This theory occupies an intermediate position between the two aforementioned foundationalist accounts, which allows it to sidestep problems that confront each of them.
Keywords Foundationalism  Justification  Epistemology  Belief
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-007-9219-0
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References found in this work BETA

The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Theory of Knowledge.Keith Lehrer - 1990 - Westview Press.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.
Evidentialism: Essays in Epistemology.Earl Conee & Richard Feldman - 2004 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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