© Aaron Flaster 2013


The Problem of the Criterion arises from two plausible intuitions: first, belief sources (such as testimony and perception) should be reliable. Second, a person should be justified in believing that the source is reliable before it can produce justified beliefs. The problem is that these intuitions create a vicious circularity and lead to skepticism. The circularity arises from the priority relation between justified beliefs about a source and justified beliefs produced by a source. Oftentimes, the only way to have justified beliefs about the reliability of a source is to use that very source. For instance, the only way to acquire justified beliefs about the reliability of testimony may be to use other instances of testimony. But that is circular. In this paper, I apply The Problem of Criterion to testimony and argue that Ernest Sosa’s virtue epistemology offers a solution.

Editor's Note: Honorable Mention Paper, 17th Annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (2013)



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