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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2007

James Robert Brown

Michael Bishop, Benett Bootz
Pages 269-285

Goodbye, Justification. Hello World

There are simple rules for making important judgments that are more reliable than experts, but people refuse to use them People refuse even when they are told that these rules are more reliable than they are. When we say that people “refuse” to use the rule, we do not mean that people stubbornly refuse to carry out the steps indicated by the rule. Rather, people defect from the rule (i.e., they overturn the rule’s judgment) so often that they end up reasoning about as reliably as they would have without the rule, and less reliably than the rule all by itself. We haue two aims in this paper. First, we will explain why (at least some) simple rules are so reliable and why people too often defect from them. And second, we will argue that this selective defection phenomenon raises a serious problem for all epistemological theories of justification. We will suggest that the best way to escape this problem is to change the focus of contemporary epistemology.

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