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The Epistemic Role of Consciousness$
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Declan Smithies

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199917662.001.0001

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(p.254) 8 Reflection
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness

Declan Smithies

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 motivates accessibilism by appealing to William Alston’s hypothesis that the value of epistemic justification is tied to reflection, an activity that is the distinctive mark of persons who can be held responsible for their beliefs and actions. Section 8.1 argues that epistemic justification is what makes our beliefs stable under an idealized process of reflection. Section 8.2 uses this proposal in arguing for the JJ principle, which says that you have justification to believe a proposition if and only if you have justification to believe that you have justification to believe it. Sections 8.3–8.6 defend this proposal against a series of objections raised by Hilary Kornblith: the overintellectualization problem, the regress problem, the empirical problem, and the value problem. Section 8.7 concludes with some reflections on the debate between internalism and externalism about epistemic justification.

Keywords:   accessibilism, epistemic justification, reflection, responsibility, JJ principle, internalism, externalism, William Alston, Hilary Kornblith

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