Wednesday, March 6, 2013

[PHI 3000] Is reality what we think it is?

Some philosophers are epistemic conservatives. For epistemic conservatives, the mere fact that one believes some proposition p is prima facie justification for believing p. In other words, epistemic conservatives argue that the following reasoning is warranted:
  1. I believe that p.
  2. Therefore, I am apparently justified in believing p.
Is this a reliable form of reasoning? Consider the wealth gap in America:

The wealth gap in America is not at all as most Americans think it is. In that case, reasoning as the epistemic conservative recommends would lead one to believe that one is apparently justified in believing a false proposition.

Is reality unlike what we think it is more often than not? If so, should one take one's belief that p as prima facie justification for believing p?

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