On the Relevance of Etiology to Justifciation (with reference to Marx and Nietzsche)

Midwest Studies in Philosophy (special issue on "Genealogy"), forthcoming

16 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2023

Date Written: September 30, 2023

Abstract

Some philosophers associated with the post-Kantian Continental traditions in philosophy (for example, Marx and Nietzsche) think that the etiology of a belief can impugn the epistemic status of that belief, leading us, correctly, to be “suspicious” of it; let us call them “Etiological Critics. Many analytic philosophers, responding to these and related etiological critiques within Anglophone philosophy are unimpressed (White 2010; Srinivasan 2015). These analytic philosophers agree that facts about the etiology of belief might bring to one’s attention epistemically relevant considerations—for example, the fact that other possible epistemic peers disagree with one’s beliefs (White 2010: 576-577, 605-608)—but they deny that the etiology itself has any direct bearing on the epistemic status of belief (in particular, whether it is doxastically justified). I argue that etiology is directly relevant to the epistemic status of belief, arguing against White and Srinivasan, using examples from Marx and Nietzsche.

Keywords: etiology, genealogy, justification, reliabilism, safety, G.A. Cohen, Roger White, Amia Srinivasan, Marx, Nietzsche

Suggested Citation

Leiter, Brian, On the Relevance of Etiology to Justifciation (with reference to Marx and Nietzsche) (September 30, 2023). Midwest Studies in Philosophy (special issue on "Genealogy"), forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4589056

Brian Leiter (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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