I’m off to a philosophy of religion conference at Wheaton tomorrow. Keith and I are in the same session; maybe we’ll try to figure out what a contextualist view of hell would look like…
In the meantime, I thought I’d post an argument that Ernie LePore used in a graduate seminar on Quine to see if he should switch from being a philosopher of language to being an epistemologist! Ernie maintained that anything can justify anything. I think he meant that anything can justify anything else, since that’s all the argument has a prayer of establishing. So here’s the argument:
Take any p and any q, and suppose S believes both p and q. Then either can justify the other, needing only the suppose that one of the beliefs is justified and that there are present linking beliefs that are also justified. So if you justifiably believe p and justifiably belief that if p is true then q is true as well, and believe q on the basis of competently inferring the second from the first, then p justifies q for you. Since these claims are arbitrarily chosen, we get the result that anything can justify anything else.
Do you like this argument?