Warrant, Conclusive Reason, and Failure-Of-Transfer-Of-Warrant
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Murali Ramachandran
University of the Witwatersrand; Tomsk State University
Published 2018-10-25


Failure of transfer of warrant, Conclusive reasons, Epistemic closure, Question begging

How to Cite

Ramachandran, M. (2018) “Warrant, Conclusive Reason, and Failure-Of-Transfer-Of-Warrant”, Problemos, 94, pp. 35-48. doi: 10.15388/Problemos.2018.0.0.11993.


[full article, abstract in English; abstract in Lithuanian]

Fred Dretske motivates his denial of epistemic closure by way of the thought that the warrant for the premises of a valid argument need not transfer (or ‘transmit’) to the argument’s conclusion. The failure-of-transfer-of-warrant (FTW) strategy has also been used by advocates of epistemic closure as a foil to Michael McKinsey’s argument against the compatibility of first person authority and semantic externalism, and also to illuminate, more generally, why certain valid arguments appear ill-suited for the purpose of establishing their conclusions. This paper takes re-examines some of the central attempts to explain transmission-failure, and a central line of objection to the strategy from Begging-the-Question theorists. The ultimate goal of this paper is to promote a decidedly Dretskean explanation of the unpersuasiveness of the said arguments.

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