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Chapter 6

Philosophy 1230A/B Chapter 6: Week 6, Herrick Chapter 6

Course Code
PHIL 1230A/B
Jonathan Marsh

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Building a Solid Knowledge Base
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
Ancient Skepticism
Pyrrho: major skeptic and physician
Sextus Empiricus
-Ancient skepticism, by contrast pyrrhonian skepticism in particular, regards skepticism as a
way of living, as a welcome recipe for a well- lived life (happiness).
-Beliefs lead to disturbance, suspension of belief frees one from this disturbance, resulting in
-To achieve this state they provide the regress argumentfor the claim that we do not and
indeed cannot know anything at all.
Regress Argument
1) All knowledge that p requires good reasons
2) My reasons for believing that P are good only if I have adequate evidence (a decent
argument) that justifies p.
3) No reason R can justify a proposition unless R is itself justified
4) R is justified only if there are good reasons R1 to justify R
5)R1 is justified only if there is good reason R2 that justifies R1
Since the process of justification is never-ending, it follows that
6) I am never justified in believing any proposition
7) I dont (cant) know anything
-Every belief is based on another belief
Aristotle(father of foundationalism)
Two classes of justified belief:
1)Non-Basic Justified Beliefs
-These are justified on the basis of reasoning from other justified beliefs.
2)Basic Justified Beliefs
-These are not justified on the basis of reasoning from other justified beliefs.
The Infinite Regression Theory
-One belief is justified in terms of a more basic belief, which is justified in terms of a belief even
more basic, and so on.
-Advocates of this theory argue that the very notion of a basic, self-evident belief is incoherent.
Two Sources of Knowledge
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