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Foundationalism, Circular Justification, and the Levels Gambit

James A. Keller
Synthese
Vol. 68, No. 2, Issues in Epistemology (Aug., 1986), pp. 205-212
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20116305
Page Count: 8
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Foundationalism, Circular Justification, and the Levels Gambit
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Abstract

In 'Foundationalism, Coherentism, and the Levels Gambit', David Shatz argued that foundationalists must countenance a circular mediate justification of perceptual beliefs which the foundationalist holds are already immediately justified. Because the circularity of coherentist accounts of the justification of beliefs is a major basis of foundationalist criticism of coherentism, Shatz's claim is a serious challenge to foundationalism. In this paper, using a moderate foundationalism with a reliabilist conception of justification, I give an account of immediately and mediately justified beliefs which shows that such a foundationalism need not accept such a circular justification (and in crucial cases cannot do so) and that Shatz's claim is therefore incorrect.

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