Skip to main content
×
×
Home

INFINITISM AND SCEPTICISM

  • Tim Oakley
Abstract

Infinitism, in contrast to foundationalism and coherentism, claims that justification in any proposition requires the availability of an infinite chain of propositional reasons, each providing a justificatory reason for its successor in the chain. Both infinitists and some critics of the theory have at times noted the possibility that the theory may have sceptical consequences for doxastic justification. It is argued here that, for reasons that appear not to have been previously appreciated, sceptical results very definitely do follow from infinitism. On one construal of infinitism, this constitutes a reductio of the theory. On an alternative construal, infinitists may embrace the sceptical conclusion, but in doing so, will take on all the problems that scepticism faces.

Copyright
Corresponding author
References
Hide All
Aikin, S. 2005. ‘Who is Afraid of Epistemology's Regress Problem?Philosophical Studies, 126: 191217.
Aikin, S. 2011. Epistemology and the Regress Problem. New York, NY: Routledge.
Aikin, S. 2014. ‘Knowing Better, Cognitive Command, and Epistemic Infinitism.’ In Turri, J. and Klein, P. (eds), Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism, pp. 1836. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Audi, R. 1998. Epistemology. New York, NY: Routledge.
Fantl, J. 2003.‘Modest Infinitism.’ Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 33: 537–62.
Fumerton, R. 2006. Epistemology. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Harker, J. E. 1984. ‘Can There be an Infinite Regress of Justified Beliefs?Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 61: 255–64.
Klein, P. 1999. ‘Human Knowledge and the Infinite Regress of Reasons.’ Philosophical Perspectives, 13: 297325.
Klein, P. 2005a. ‘Infinitism's Take on Justification, Knowledge, Certainty and Skepticism.’ Veritas, 50: 153–72.
Klein, P. 2005b. ‘Infinitism is the Solution to the Infinite Regress Problem.’ In Steup, M. and Sosa, E. (eds), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, pp. 131–40. Oxford: Blackwell.
Klein, P. 2007a. ‘Human Knowledge and the Infinite Progress of Reasoning.’ Philosophical Studies, 134: 117.
Klein, P. 2007b. ‘How to be an Infinitist about Doxastic Justification.’ Philosophical Studies, 134: 25–9.
Klein, P. 2008. ‘Contemporary Responses to Agrippa's Trilemma.’ In Greco, J. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Klein, P. 2011. ‘Infinitism.’ In Bernecker, E. and Pritchard, D. (eds), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology, pp. 245–56. New York, NY: Routledge.
Klein, P. 2014a. ‘No Final End in Sight.’ In Neta, R. (ed.), Current Controversies in Epistemology, pp. 95115. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis.
Klein, P. 2014b. ‘Reasons, Reasoning and Knowledge: A Proposed Rapprochement between Infinitism and Foundationalism.’ In Turri, J. and Klein, P. (eds), Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism, pp. 105–24. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Oakley, I. T. 1976. ‘An Argument for Scepticism Concerning Justified Beliefs.’ American Philosophical Quarterly, 15: 221–8.
Pollock, J. 1974. Knowledge and Justification. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Post, J. 1980. ‘Infinite Regresses of Justification and of Explanation.’ Philosophical Studies, 38: 1252.
Turri, J. 2010. ‘On the Relationship Between Propositional and Doxastic Justification.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 80: 312–26.
Turri, J. and Klein, P. (eds) 2014a. Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Turri, J. and Klein, P. 2014b. ‘Introduction.’ In Turri, J. and Klein, P. (eds), Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Episteme
  • ISSN: 1742-3600
  • EISSN: 1750-0117
  • URL: /core/journals/episteme
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed