Towards a non-justificationist epistemology

Masoud Mohammadi Alamuti


In order to reinvent critical rationalism into a new theory of rationality showing how a claim of rationality held open to criticism may be refuted in practice, a new theory of knowledge is needed to demarcate ‘true belief' from ‘false belief’. Although Popper and Bartley realize in their epistemology that the justified tme belief account of knowledge cannot prepare the ground for a theory of critical rationalism, they fail to present a non-justificationist alternative extending beyond the philosophy of science. Proceeding in four sections, this chapter aims to narrow that gap in the epistemology of critical rationalism, arguing that justification-ist epistemologies, whether dogmatic or sceptic, have neglected to address the problem of objective knowledge due to the meaning of justified true belief that they give to knowledge. A new solution to the problem of objective knowledge is proposed: the idea of expanding the general differentiation between justification and criticism first introduced by Bartley (1964, 1984) to the concept of objective knowledge leading to the idea of knowledge as unfalsified conjecture.

Chapter 4 argues that the idea of knowledge as unfalsified conjecture directs us towards a non-justificational form of deduction, preparing the ground for the introduction of a new theory of falsification applicable not only in science but also in metaphysics. Finally, the non-justificationist concept of knowledge, the deductive form of inference and the theory of falsification are used to offer a new theory of knowledge: a non-justificationist epistemology-.

Section I: objective knowledge: the failure of justificationist solutions

From Chapter 1, we have learned that neither dogmatist nor sceptic epistemology offers an acceptable solution to the problem of objective knowledge mainly because they define knowledge as justified true belief. In addressing the failure, the justificationist concept of knowledge to solve the problem of objective knowledge, I briefly return to the idea of justified true belief itself.

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