What is the point of developing an epistemology for a topic—for example, morality? When is it appropriate to develop the epistemology of a topic? For many topics—for example, the topic of socks—we see no need to develop a special epistemology. Under what conditions, then, does a topic deserve its own epistemology? I seek to answer these questions in this article. I provide a criterion for deciding when we are warranted in developing an epistemological theory for a topic. I briefly apply this criterion to moral epistemology and argue that some approaches to moral epistemology should be abandoned. I also argue that we can develop an epistemology for a topic without committing ourselves to a specific substantive theory of justification, such as reliabilism or coherentism, if we work within a suitably neutral framework.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Campus Box 4540, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4540, USA, Email: email@example.com
Publication date: January 1, 2007