AuthorTAYLOR, JAMES EDWARD.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe central thesis of this dissertation is that it is not possible to determine the nature of epistemic justification apart from psychological investigation. Two sub-theses provide the primary support for this claim. The first sub-thesis is that no account of epistemic justification is correct which requires for the possession of justified beliefs a psychological capacity which humans do not have. A different way of stating this view is that the correct account of epistemic justification must be psychologically realistic. The second sub-thesis is that it is not possible to determine whether an account of epistemic justification is psychologically realistic apart from psychological investigation. In sum, there is a meta-theoretical constraint of psychological realism on accounts of epistemic justification which requires appeal to psychological investigation in its employment. After defending these proposals, I illustrate how the constraint of psychological realism has been and can be used both to test candidate accounts of epistemic justification and to guide the construction of such an account which is intuitive and psychologically realistic. These two kinds of applications of the constraint can involve either scientific or non-scientific psychological investigation. I give examples from current epistemological literature of critical employments of the constraint which appeal to both of these kinds of psychological investigation. Finally, in illustrating the role of the constraint of psychological realism in guiding the construction of an account of epistemic justification, I consider both reliabilist views and a variety of positions which feature the notion of cognitive design. I suggest that this latter approach holds out promise for yielding an account of epistemic justification which is both psychologically realistic and intuitive.