Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Circular reasoning is widely seen as fallacious, sometimes called begging the question or petitio principii. Some recent research has pointed to circular reasoning as underlying fundamental problems in empirical methods, especially in psychology and social sciences. Such reasoning is often infelicitous or even useless.
In contrast to the traditional view, circular reasoning is deductively valid. Moreover, some philosophers (including Descartes) have embraced patterns of reasoning which appear to be circular. In new work in the philosophy of mathematics, I argue that mathematical epistemology is essentially circular.
In this talk, I focus on a general point concerning the distinction between virtuous and vicious circles and its relation to the demarcation problem in the philosophy of science.
February 6, 2015