This dissertation is primarily an inquiry into the concept of epistemic justification. The concept of epistemic justification is a multi-facet hybrid and there is an extensive literature about exactly what those conceptual facets are. Indeed, any theory of epistemic justification could be seen as an attempt to spell out the constitutive parts of the concept of epistemic justification. Aside from a very few aspects that almost everyone agrees upon, such as evaluative/normativity of the concept, there is a live and fierce debate on every other aspect of the concept. The deontologist vs. involuntarist debate, the internalist vs. externalist controversy, and traditional vs. naturalist wrangle are among the disputed features that divide epistemologists in large groups, each attributing different components as constituents of the concept of epistemic justification. Among each group there are subtle altercations regarding more exquisite parts of that concept. Among these various debates and groupings in epistemology, the focus of my treatise is on externalism and virtue theories. My thesis is that epistemic justification is partly due to the phenomenological features that reliable belief forming mechanisms bestow on their outputs. More specifically, my dissertation is an investigation into the epistemic significance of the phenomenological features of beliefs and their relation to beliefs' genesis. Among various theories of virtue epistemology, this dissertation focuses closely on Sosa's epistemology and his account of animal vs. reflective knowledge. I believe my phenomenologically enabled modification of Sosa's virtue epistemology maintains the virtues of his theory while being able to face challenges that are not easy to spell out, specifically with respect to the problem of reflective luck, without the qualitative adaptations that I have proposed. I also believe that my proposal is in line with findings in cognitive science and neuroscience so it can benefit from their support with-out depending on those empirical grounds for its philosophical merits. Rather, the main force behind my proposal is its intuitive plausibility; the highest court in all philosophical debates.
"The Color of Justification: A phenomenological amendment to virtue epistemology"
Philosophy Theses and Dissertations.
Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.