Philosophy Research Papers on Epistemology

Eric Lormand, University of Michigan

I am trying to redo Descartes' Meditations without the reliance on God and with a standard of justification instead of total certainty. I think there is a way rationally to develop and deploy a justified method of searching for truth, from scratch--that is, without relying on initially accepted "prejudiced" beliefs.

List of epistemology papers on this site


Description Date/Status
How to (Start a) Search for Truth and Appendix (Epistemic Aims) Works through the steps by which a thinker can arrive at a justified method for finding contingent truths, starting only from the aim of finding truths, some minimal (narrow) self-knowledge about what she thinks, and some minimal (logical) knowledge about what's necessary vs. contingent. (49K) in progress

Future work on this theme will work backwards from this paper to start closer to "scratch", without any beliefs at all.
          (A) Teleology--how to have an use an "aim" (versus, say, a desire) for truth without needing an idea of truth (and so without needing beliefs about what truth is).
          (B) Logic--how to reach some justified initial logical beliefs from the aim for truth.
          (C) Self-Knowledge--how to avoid the need for initial self-knowledge by having beliefs function as beliefs about themselves.

Another task is to show how to use this method practically, for both descriptive and evaluative truths (the end of the "How to Search" paper previews this).

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