Justification and Innateness

Itís been a long time between posts here, which
is not good. I just did a paper at the central APA, a copy of which is here. And I just sent the following abstract to the 2002
AAP. Itís common practice to send papers that are not yet written to the AAP,
which makes the conference a little more cutting edge, and the outcomes a
little more variable.

 

Justification and Innateness

Our concept of epistemic justification is a
somewhat awkward amalgam of two related concepts: a reliabilist concept that is
appropriate for evaluating believers without the capacity for critical
reflection, and a coherentist concept that is appropriate for evaluating those
with this capacity. The application of this concept gets complicated when
dealing with believers who have this capacity at some stages of their
existence, and lack it at crucial other times. To take one interesting example,
we donít acquire the capacity for critical reflection until well after we start
acquiring beliefs, so these difficulties matter to us. I propose that the
reliabilist concept is suitable for evaluating beliefs acquired before the
onset of critical reflection, and the coherentist concept is suitable for
evaluating beliefs acquired after this time. This proposal deals with some cases,
largely inspired by Bonjourís clairvoyant, that defeat simpler versions of
reliabilism, while retaining a sizeable role for accuracy in our theory of
justification.

 

If you want a copy of the paper when itís
done, let me know and Iíll email you a copy. Of course, you could probably
figure out what Iím going to write by the posts below, but that would spoil the
fun of having a good paper.

By
the way, Neil McKinnon (another great Monash product) has a number of really
interesting papers up on his website. If
youíre interested in issues about time, persistence and vagueness (and really,
who isnít) you should look at it.