2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

The Justification of Belief Systems within Epistemological Communities


Daniel J. Willie
Dr. Chad Mohler, Faculty Mentor

            By combining the notions of Lynn Hankinson Nelson’s epistemological communities and Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm shifts, with paradigms being belief systems within the scientific community as an epistemological community, it is possible to arrive at a descriptive structure of the advancement of community belief systems within the scientific community. When also applied normatively by using Kuhn’s paradigm shifts as a model for the advancement of belief systems in response to phenomena that cannot fit into a community’s system of beliefs, it is possible to find dynamic criteria for the epistemological justification of belief systems as they adjust over time. Such criteria can be applied to real-world examples of community belief systems to find whether they are able to reasonably respond to phenomena that contradict their belief systems or if the communities are unwilling to move beyond their belief systems in the face of phenomena that defeat their belief system.

Keywords: Epistemology, Epistemological Justification, Epistemological Communities, Social Epistemology

Topic(s):PHRE Senior Seminar
Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 104-4
Location: SUB GEO C
Time: 9:15

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