The Problem Of The Criterion And The Epistemic Regress Problem By Andrew D. Cling – Article Example


The Problem of the Criterion and the Epistemic Regress Problem
In Andrew D. Cling’s article “The Problem of the Criterion and the Epistemic Regress Problem,” the author argues that being authorized by a criterion is not the same as being supported by a proposition. The criterion is something different from the epistemic regress problem, but these two things are surprisingly similar. Both of these things depend upon plausible assumptions which are paradoxical in nature. They imply that propositions can only have valuable relational properties, in other words be valuable, only if there are infinite other possibilities that are equally relational to their successors, but at the same time this limitation makes it impossible for any proposition to have this property. The difference between the criterion and the epistemic regress problem is that one is to be supported while the other is to be authorized.
Basically, it’s a Catch 22 depending on whether the proposition is authorized or supported – a criterion is required to decide the dispute about the criterion but the dispute must be decided in order to come up with the original criterion. The difference between the two is that reasoning in accordance with a particular set of (supported) criteria leads to a deeper development of true beliefs from the viewpoint of the particular set of criteria but reasoning in light of (authorized) criteria doesn’t depend as much on the perspective and can thus be considered ‘more’ true, always keeping in mind that ultimate truth remains always out of reach. One inevitably leads to the unconscious development of one’s beliefs while the other challenges one to direct one’s thinking.
The article makes an attempt at easy communication and bringing the conversation down to the layman’s level, which is highly appreciated. In spite of this, it is easy to lose the distinctions being made between the criterion and the epistemic regress problem. What does become clear, though, is that there is a sharp distinction between whether one understands the truth based on information that is supported by other ideas or on truth based on authorized, proved evidence.