Memory and epistemic conservatism

Matthew McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Much of the plausibility of epistemic conservatism derives from its prospects of explaining our rationality in holding memory beliefs. In the first two parts of this paper, I argue for the inadequacy of the two standard approaches to the epistemology of memory beliefs, preservationism and evidentialism. In the third, I point out the advantages of the conservative approach and consider how well conservatism survives three of the strongest objections against it. Conservatism does survive, I claim, but only if qualified in certain ways. Appropriately qualified, conservatism is no longer the powerful anti-skeptical tool some have hoped for, but a doctrine closely connected with memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


  • Epistemic conservatism
  • Justification
  • Knowledge
  • Memory
  • Rational belief


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