Fading Foundations

Probability and the Regress Problem

by David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg

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Book Description

This book addresses the age-old problem of infinite regresses in epistemology. How can we ever come to know something if knowing requires having good reasons, and reasons can only be good if they are backed by good reasons in turn? The problem has puzzled philosophers ever since antiquity, giving rise to what is often called Agrippa's Trilemma. The current volume approaches the old problem in a provocative and thoroughly contemporary way. Taking seriously the idea that good reasons are typically probabilistic in character, it develops and defends a new solution that challenges venerable philosophical intuitions and explains why they were mistakenly held. Key to the new solution is the phenomenon of fading foundations, according to which distant reasons are less important than those that are nearby. The phenomenon takes the sting out of Agrippa's Trilemma; moreover, since the theory that describes it is general and abstract, it is readily applicable outside epistemology, notably to debates on infinite regresses in metaphysics. The book is a potential game-changer and a must for any advanced student or researcher in the field.

This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY). You can download Fading Foundations ebook for free in PDF format (2.3 MB).

Book Details

Subject
Philosophy
Publisher
Springer
Published
2017
Pages
242
Edition
1
Language
English
ISBN13
9783319582948
ISBN10
3319582941
ISBN13 Digital
9783319582955
ISBN10 Digital
331958295X
PDF Size
2.3 MB
License
CC BY

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