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Epistemic Principles

A Primer for the Theory of Knowledge

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Nicholas Rescher

Epistemic Principles: A Primer of the Theory of Knowledge presents a compact account of the basic principles of the theory of knowledge. In doing this, Nicholas Rescher aims to fill the current gap in contemporary philosophical theory of knowledge with a comprehensive analysis of epistemological fundamentals. The book is not a mere inventory of such rules and principles, but rather interweaves them into a continuous exposition of basic issues. Written at a user-friendly and accessible level, Epistemic Principles is an essential addition for both advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in epistemology.
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Chapter 10. Cognitive Thresholds

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· 10 ·

COGNITIVE THRESHOLDS

In answering our questions there is an inevitable epistemic gap between the supportive evidence at our disposal and the objective factual claims that we base upon it. What the actually available information affords us is not the categorical certainty of assured truth but some degree of substantiation. And accepting a certain degree of such support as sufficient for outright endorsement. The constituting of our manifold of beliefs is always a matter of decision on our part.

Deciding that enough is enough and that the epistemic gap can be realized as closed is a matter of agency on the cognizer’s part. It is not mandated by the nature of the epistemic situation as such, but will likely reflect a general practice or custom or connection.

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