EPISTEMIC LUCK, SCEPTICISM, AND JUSTIFICATION RE-CONSIDERED

  • Anselm Kole JIMOH SS. Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan
  • Peace Omotsola JEMIBOR SS Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State
Keywords: Epistemic justification, Epistemic luck, Epistemic scepticism, Externalism, Internalism

Abstract

This paper aims to re-articulate the problem of epistemic scepticism; this time,
from the perspective of the phenomenon of epistemic luck, and propose a plausible
approach toward its resolution. Epistemic scepticism is a perennial issue in the
epistemological parlance that visibly constitutes significant aspects of almost all
the discourse in epistemology. Its foothold is the inability of epistemologists to
provide a satisfactory theory of justification that meets the criteria of cognitive
achievement on the part of the agent, against the fact that the agent’s belief is a
product of luck. Given that genuine knowledge is incompatible with luck, as
purported by traditional epistemology, how do we account for malign varieties of
epistemic luck, like the veritic and reflective epistemic luck that seems to be part
of our epistemic practices? Anti-luck epistemologists, like Duncan Pritchard,
propose that we can resolve this seeming impasse of epistemic luck, scepticism
and justification by considering the positive contributions of internalism and
externalism in resolving the problem of malign epistemic luck in knowledge
acquisition. This paper is a critical analysis of the issue of epistemic scepticism.
Following the expository and dialectical methods of analysis, we evaluate the
discourse on epistemic scepticism resulting from luck and the demand for
epistemic justification and conclude that a consideration of the complementarity
of internalist/externalist debate would provide a plausible approach to epistemic
scepticism and the problem of epistemic luck.

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Published
2020-09-13