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Normative Externalism$
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Brian Weatherson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199696536.001.0001

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Circles, Epistemic and Benign

Circles, Epistemic and Benign

(p.146) 9 Circles, Epistemic and Benign
Normative Externalism

Brian Weatherson

Oxford University Press

If we reject level-crossing principles, some apparently circular reasoning becomes licensed. This looks like a problem for normative externalism. This chapter responds to the problem. The response takes some time, because it turns out there are many different ways to understand what it is for reasoning to be circular. The ultimate argument is that for every such way, either it is not problematic, or normative externalism does not license it. But there is no quick proof of this; each way to understand circular reasoning has to be treated separately. The chapter ends with a discussion of the Problem of Easy Knowledge, and of the norms for proper testing of measuring devices.

Keywords:   circular reasoning, Pyrrhonian skepticism, epistemic transmission, Problem of Easy Knowledge, testing, sensitivity

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