Epistemic Justification and Normativity

Richard Fumerton

in Knowledge, Truth, and Duty

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195128925
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833764 | DOI:
Epistemic Justification and Normativity

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Is epistemic justification normative? Discusses four ways of justifying a positive answer, none of which the writer thinks succeed: epistemic justification is normative because it is (1) analogous to moral normativity, (2) a matter of following rules; (3) a matter of trying to achieve certain goals; and (4) analyzable in terms of blame and praise. The chief problem of explaining what makes epistemic justification normative is, according to the writer, cognitivism: the view that epistemic judgments describe objective features of the world. If cognitivism in epistemology is correct, it is hard to understand why epistemic judgments should be different from nonnormative judgments that describe objective reality.

Keywords: cognitivism; epistemic; justification; moral; normativity

Chapter.  6492 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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