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  1. New Boundary Lines.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - manuscript
    Intellectual progress involves forming a more accurate picture of the world. But it also figuring out which concepts to use for theorizing about the world. Bayesian epistemology has had much to say about the former aspect of our cognitive lives, but little if at all about the latter. I outline a framework for formulating questions about conceptual change in a broadly Bayesian framework. By enriching the resources of Epistemic Utility Theory with a more expansive conception of epistemic value, I offer (...)
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  • Categorical Norms and Convention‐Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Cameron Boult - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (1):85-99.
    Allan Hazlett has recently developed an alternative to the most popular form of anti-realism about epistemic normativity, epistemic expressivism. He calls it “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse”. The view deserves more attention. In this paper, I give it attention in the form of an objection. Specifically, my objection turns on a distinction between inescapable and categorical norms. While I agree with Hazlett that convention-relativism is consistent with inescapable epistemic norms, I argue that it is not consistent with categorical epistemic norms. I (...)
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  • Epistemic Consequentialism: Its Relation to Ethical Consequentialism and the Truth-Indication Principle.Jochen Briesen - 2016 - In Pedro Schmechtig & Martin Grajner (eds.), Epistemic Reasons, Norms, and Goals. De Gruyter. pp. 277-306.
    Consequentialist positions in philosophy spell out normative notions by recourse to final aims. Hedonistic versions of ETHICAL consequentialism spell out what is MORALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing pleasure and decreasing pain. Veritistic versions of EPISTEMIC consequentialism spell out what is EPISTEMICALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing the number of true beliefs and decreasing the number of false ones. Even though these theories are in many respects structurally analogous, there are also interesting disanalogies. For (...)
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  • The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.
    I argue—contra moderate grounding pluralists such as Kit Fine and more extreme grounding pluralists such as Jessica Wilson—that there is fundamentally only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation. I also argue that this single relation is indispensable for normative theorizing—that we can’t make sense of, for example, the debate over consequentialism without it. It follows from what I argue that there is no metaethically-pure normative ethics.
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  • The Rejection of Epistemic Consequentialism.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):363-387.
    A quasi-sequel to "Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions." Covers some of the same ground, but also extends the basic argument in an important way.
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  • Coherentism Via Graphs.Selim Berker - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):322-352.
    Once upon a time, coherentism was the dominant response to the regress problem in epistemology, but in recent decades the view has fallen into disrepute: now almost everyone is a foundationalist (with a few infinitists sprinkled here and there). In this paper, I sketch a new way of thinking about coherentism, and show how it avoids many of the problems often thought fatal for the view, including the isolation objection, worries over circularity, and concerns that the concept of coherence is (...)
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  • Deliberative Indispensability and Epistemic Justification.Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett - 2015 - In Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 104-133.
    Many of us care about the existence of ethical facts because they appear crucial to making sense of our practical lives. On one tempting line of thought, this idea can also play a central role in justifying our belief in those facts. David Enoch has developed this thought into a formidable new proposal in moral epistemology: that the deliberative indispensability of ethical facts gives us epistemic justification for believing in such facts. This chapter argues that Enoch’s proposal fails because it (...)
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  • On the Epistemic Rationality and Significance of Self-Fulfilling Beliefs.Chad Marxen - 2021 - Synthese:1-18.
    Some propositions are not likely to be true overall, but are likely to be true if you believe them. Appealing to the platitude that belief aims at truth, it has become increasingly popular to defend the view that such propositions are epistemically rational to believe. However, I argue that this view runs into trouble when we consider the connection between what’s epistemically rational to believe and what’s practically rational to do. I conclude by discussing how rejecting the view bears on (...)
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  • Indirect Epistemic Reasons and Religious Belief.Kirk Lougheed & Robert Mark Simpson - 2017 - Religious Studies 53 (2):151-169.
    If believing P will result in epistemically good outcomes, does this generate an epistemic reason to believe P, or just a pragmatic reason? Conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons seems to lead to absurdity, e.g. by allowing that someone can rationally hold beliefs that conflict with her assessment of her evidence’s probative force. We explain how this and other intuitively unwelcome results can be avoided. We also suggest a positive case for conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons, namely, (...)
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  • Suspension, Higher-Order Evidence, and Defeat.Errol Lord & Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In Mona Simion & Jessica Brown (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford University Press.
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  • Epistemic Consequentialism, Veritism, and Scoring Rules.Marc-Kevin Daoust & Charles Côté-Bouchard - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    We argue that there is a tension between two monistic claims that are the core of recent work in epistemic consequentialism. The first is a form of monism about epistemic value, commonly known as veritism: accuracy is the sole final objective to be promoted in the epistemic domain. The other is a form of monism about a class of epistemic scoring rules: that is, strictly proper scoring rules are the only legitimate measures of inaccuracy. These two monisms, we argue, are (...)
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  • Are There Any Epistemic Consequentialists?Tsung-Hsing Ho - forthcoming - Episteme:1-11.
    Selim Berker argues that epistemic consequentialism is pervasive in epistemology and that epistemic consequentialism is structurally flawed. is incorrect, however. I distinguish between epistemic consequentialism and epistemic instrumentalism and argue that most putative consequentialists should be considered instrumentalists. I also identify the structural problem of epistemic consequentialism Berker attempts to pinpoint and show that epistemic instrumentalism does not have the consequentialist problem.
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  • Updating for Externalists.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The externalist says that your evidence could fail to tell you what evidence you do or not do have. In that case, it could be rational for you to be uncertain about what your evidence is. This is a kind of uncertainty which orthodox Bayesian epistemology has difficulty modeling. For, if externalism is correct, then the orthodox Bayesian learning norms of conditionalization and reflection are inconsistent with each other. I recommend that an externalist Bayesian reject conditionalization. In its stead, I (...)
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  • Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
    It is valuable for inquiry to have researchers who are committed advocates of their own theories. However, in light of pervasive disagreement, such a commitment is not well explained by the idea that researchers believe their theories. Instead, this commitment, the rational attitude to take toward one’s favored theory during the course of inquiry, is what I call endorsement. Endorsement is a doxastic attitude, but one which is governed by a different type of epistemic rationality. This inclusive epistemic rationality is (...)
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  • Endorsement and Assertion.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Noûs 55 (2):1-22.
    Scientists, philosophers, and other researchers commonly assert their theories. This is surprising, as there are good reasons for skepticism about theories in cutting-edge research. I propose a new account of assertion in research contexts that vindicates these assertions. This account appeals to a distinct propositional attitude called endorsement, which is the rational attitude of committed advocacy researchers have to their theories. The account also appeals to a theory of conversational pragmatics known as the Question Under Discussion model, or QUD. Hence, (...)
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  • How to Endorse Conciliationism.Will Fleisher - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    I argue that recognizing a distinct doxastic attitude called endorsement, along with the epistemic norms governing it, solves the self-undermining problem for conciliationism about disagreement. I provide a novel account of how the self-undermining problem works by pointing out the auxiliary assumptions the objection relies on. These assumptions include commitment to certain epistemic principles linking belief in a theory to following prescriptions of that theory. I then argue that we have independent reason to recognize the attitude of endorsement. Endorsement is (...)
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  • Why No True Reliabilist Should Endorse Reliabilism.Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij & Jeffrey S. Dunn - forthcoming - Episteme:1-18.
    Critics have recently argued that reliabilists face trade-off problems, forcing them to condone intuitively unjustified beliefs when they generate lots of true belief further downstream. What these critics overlook is that reliabilism entails that there are side-constraints on belief-formation, on account of which there are some things you should not believe, even if doing so would have very good epistemic consequences. However, we argue that by embracing side-constraints the reliabilist faces a dilemma: she can either hold on to reliabilism, and (...)
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  • Dilating and Contracting Arbitrarily.David Builes, Sophie Horowitz & Miriam Schoenfield - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Standard accuracy-based approaches to imprecise credences have the consequence that it is rational to move between precise and imprecise credences arbitrarily, without gaining any new evidence. Building on the Educated Guessing Framework of Horowitz (2019), we develop an alternative accuracy-based approach to imprecise credences that does not have this shortcoming. We argue that it is always irrational to move from a precise state to an imprecise state arbitrarily, however it can be rational to move from an imprecise state to a (...)
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  • The explanatory role of consistency requirements.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4551-4569.
    Is epistemic inconsistency a mere symptom of having violated other requirements of rationality—notably, reasons-responsiveness requirements? Or is inconsistency irrational on its own? This question has important implications for the debate on the normativity of epistemic rationality. In this paper, I defend a new account of the explanatory role of the requirement of epistemic consistency. Roughly, I will argue that, in cases where an epistemically rational agent is permitted to believe P and also permitted to disbelieve P, the consistency requirement plays (...)
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  • Surprising Suspensions: The Epistemic Value of Being Ignorant.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    Knowledge is good, ignorance is bad. So it seems, anyway. But in this dissertation, I argue that some ignorance is epistemically valuable. Sometimes, we should suspend judgment even though by believing we would achieve knowledge. In this apology for ignorance (ignorance, that is, of a certain kind), I defend the following four theses: 1) Sometimes, we should continue inquiry in ignorance, even though we are in a position to know the answer, in order to achieve more than mere knowledge (e.g. (...)
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Normative?Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Noûs.
    According to a widely held view, epistemic reasons are normative reasons for belief – much like prudential or moral reasons are normative reasons for action. In recent years, however, an increasing number of authors have questioned the assumption that epistemic reasons are normative. In this article, I discuss an important challenge for anti-normativism about epistemic reasons and present a number of arguments in support of normativism. The challenge for anti-normativism is to say what kind of reasons epistemic reasons are if (...)
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  • Is Reliabilism a Form of Consequentialism?Jeffrey Dunn & Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij - unknown
    Reliabilism -- the view that a belief is justified iff it is produced by a reliable process -- is often characterized as a form of consequentialism. Recently, critics of reliabilism have suggested that, since a form of consequentialism, reliabilism condones a variety of problematic trade-offs, involving cases where someone forms an epistemically deficient belief now that will lead her to more epistemic value later. In the present paper, we argue that the relevant argument against reliabilism fails because it equivocates. While (...)
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  • Veritism Refuted? Understanding, Idealization, and the Facts.Tamer Nawar - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4295-4313.
    Elgin offers an influential and far-reaching challenge to veritism. She takes scientific understanding to be non-factive and maintains that there are epistemically useful falsehoods that figure ineliminably in scientific understanding and whose falsehood is no epistemic defect. Veritism, she argues, cannot account for these facts. This paper argues that while Elgin rightly draws attention to several features of epistemic practices frequently neglected by veritists, veritists have numerous plausible ways of responding to her arguments. In particular, it is not clear that (...)
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  • Clifford and the Common Epistemic Norm.Robin McKenna - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):245-258.
    This paper develops a “Cliffordian” argument for a common epistemic norm governing belief, action, and assertion. The idea is that beliefs are the sorts of things that lead to actions and assertions. What each of us believes influences what we act on and assert, and in turn influences what those around us believe, act on, and assert. Belief, action, and assertion should be held to a common epistemic norm because, otherwise, this system will become contaminated. The paper finishes by drawing (...)
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  • Is Evidence Normative?Frank Hofmann - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (2):1-18.
    This paper defends the view that in a certain sense evidence is normative. Neither a bit of evidence nor the fact that it is evidence for a certain proposition is a normative fact, but it is still the case that evidence provides normative reason for belief. An argument for the main thesis will be presented. It will rely on evidentialist norms of belief and a Broomean conception of normative reasons. Two important objections will be discussed, one from A. Steglich-Petersen on (...)
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  • Ecumenical Epistemic Instrumentalism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2613-2639.
    According to extant versions of epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons. Epistemic instrumentalism is unpopular. I think it’s just misunderstood. Rather than saying epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons, epistemic instrumentalists should only say that if there is an epistemic reason, there is also an instrumental reason. This is the view I call ecumenical epistemic instrumentalism. In this paper, I first motivate, next sketch, and finally highlight the advantages of this version of epistemic instrumentalism.
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  • Accurate Updating for the Risk Sensitive.Catrin Campbell-Moore & Bernhard Salow - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axaa006.
    Philosophers have recently attempted to justify particular belief revision procedures by arguing that they are the optimal means towards the epistemic end of accurate credences. These attempts, however, presuppose that means should be evaluated according to classical expected utility theory; and there is a long tradition maintaining that expected utility theory is too restrictive as a theory of means–end rationality, ruling out too many natural ways of taking risk into account. In this paper, we investigate what belief-revision procedures are supported (...)
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  • The Value-Based Theory of Reasons.Barry Maguire - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    This paper develops the Value-Based Theory of Reasons in some detail. The central part of the paper introduces a number of theoretically puzzling features of normative reasons. These include weight, transmission, overlap, and the promiscuity of reasons. It is argued that the Value-Based Theory of Reasons elegantly accounts for these features. This paper is programmatic. Its goal is to put the promising but surprisingly overlooked Value-Based Theory of Reasons on the table in discussions of normative reasons, and to draw attention (...)
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  • Does Doxastic Justification Have a Basing Requirement?Paul Silva - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):371-387.
    The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is the distinction between having justification to believe P (= propositional justification) versus having a justified belief in P (= doxastic justification). The focus of this paper is on doxastic justification and on what conditions are necessary for having it. In particular, I challenge the basing demand on doxastic justification, i.e., the idea that one can have a doxastically justified belief only if one’s belief is based on an epistemically appropriate reason. This demand (...)
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  • There Are No Reasons for Affective Attitudes.Barry Maguire - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):779-805.
    A dogma of contemporary ethical theory maintains that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is the very same as the nature of normative support for actions. The prevailing view is that normative reasons provide the support across the board. I argue that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is importantly different from the nature of normative support for actions. Actions are indeed supported by reasons. Reasons are gradable and contributory. The support relations for affective attitudes are (...)
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  • Epistemic Utility Theory’s Difficult Future.Chad Marxen - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    According to epistemic utility theory, epistemic rationality is teleological: epistemic norms are instrumental norms that have the aim of acquiring accuracy. What’s definitive of these norms is that they can be expected to lead to the acquisition of accuracy when followed. While there’s much to be said in favor of this approach, it turns out that it faces a couple of worrisome extensional problems involving the future. The first problem involves credences about the future, and the second problem involves future (...)
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  • Belief in a Fallen World.Robert Pasnau - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (3):531-559.
    In an ideal epistemic world, our beliefs would correspond to our evidence, and our evidence would be bountiful. In the world we live in, however, if we wish to live meaningful lives, other epistemic strategies are necessary. Here I attempt to work out, systematically, the ways in which evidentialism fails us as a guide to belief. This is so preeminently for lives of a religious character, but the point applies more broadly.
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  • An Instrumentalist Account of How to Weigh Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1071-1094.
    When one has both epistemic and practical reasons for or against some belief, how do these reasons combine into an all-things-considered reason for or against that belief? The question might seem to presuppose the existence of practical reasons for belief. But we can rid the question of this presupposition. Once we do, a highly general ‘Combinatorial Problem’ emerges. The problem has been thought to be intractable due to certain differences in the combinatorial properties of epistemic and practical reasons. Here we (...)
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  • Individual Valuing of Social Equality in Political and Personal Relationships.Ryan W. Davis & Jessica Preece - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    Social egalitarianism holds that individuals ought to have equal power over outcomes within relationships. Egalitarian philosophers have argued for this ideal by appealing to features of political society. This way of grounding the social egalitarian principle renders it dependent on empirical facts about political culture. In particular, egalitarians have argued that social equality matters to citizens in political relationships in a way analogous to the value of equality in a marriage. In this paper, we show how egalitarian philosophers are committed (...)
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  • Debate: Anger, Fitting Attitudes, and Srinivasan’s Category of “Affective Injustice”.David Plunkett - 2021 - Journal of Political Philosophy 29 (1):117-131.
    Journal of Political Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Against the Doctrine of Infallibility.Christopher Willard-Kyle - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to the doctrine of infallibility, one is permitted to believe p if one knows that necessarily, one would be right if one believed that p. This plausible principle—made famous in Descartes’ cogito—is false. There are some self-fulfilling, higher-order propositions one can’t be wrong about but shouldn’t believe anyway: believing them would immediately make one’s overall doxastic state worse.
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  • Veritism Unswamped.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):381-435.
    According to Veritism, true belief is the sole fundamental epistemic value. Epistemologists often take Veritism to entail that all other epistemic items can only have value by standing in certain instrumental relations—namely, by tending to produce a high ratio of true to false beliefs or by being products of sources with this tendency. Yet many value theorists outside epistemology deny that all derivative value is grounded in instrumental relations to fundamental value. Veritists, I believe, can and should follow suit. After (...)
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  • Another Argument Against Uniqueness.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):327-346.
    I present an argument against the thesis of Uniqueness and in favour of Permissivism. Counterexamples to Uniqueness are provided, based on ‘Safespot’ propositions – i.e. a proposition that is guaranteed to be true provided the subject adopts a certain attitude towards it. The argument relies on a plausible principle: (roughly stated) If S knows that her believing p would be a true belief, then it is rationally permitted for S to believe p. One motivation for denying this principle – viz. (...)
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  • The Aptness of Anger.Amia Srinivasan - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (2):123-144.
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  • Accuracy, Coherence and Evidence.Branden Fitelson & Kenny Easwaran - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 5:61-96.
    Taking Joyce’s (1998; 2009) recent argument(s) for probabilism as our point of departure, we propose a new way of grounding formal, synchronic, epistemic coherence requirements for (opinionated) full belief. Our approach yields principled alternatives to deductive consistency, sheds new light on the preface and lottery paradoxes, and reveals novel conceptual connections between alethic and evidential epistemic norms.
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  • Demoting Promoting Objections to Epistemic Consequentialism.Daniel J. Singer - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):268-280.
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  • A Writing Guide for Professional Philosophers.Neil Mehta - manuscript
    This guide focuses on the content and form of excellent philosophical writing, with further comments on reading, thinking, writing processes, publication strategies, and self-cultivation.
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  • Permissive Situations and Direct Doxastic Control.Blake Roeber - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):415-431.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Epistemic Utility Theory and the Aim of Belief.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):511-534.
    How should rational believers pursue the aim of truth? Epistemic utility theorists have argued that by combining the tools of decision theory with an epistemic form of value—gradational accuracy, proximity to the truth—we can justify various epistemological norms. I argue that deriving these results requires using decision rules that are different in important respects from those used in standard (practical) decision theory. If we use the more familiar decision rules, we can’t justify the epistemic coherence norms that epistemic utility theory (...)
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  • Reply to Goldman: Cutting Up the One to Save the Five in Epistemology.Selim Berker - 2015 - Episteme 12 (2):145-153.
    I argue that Alvin Goldman has failed to save process reliabilism from my critique in earlier work of consequentialist or teleological epistemic theories. First, Goldman misconstrues the nature of my challenge: two of the cases he discusses I never claimed to be counterexamples to process reliabilism. Second, Goldman’s reply to the type of case I actually claimed to be a counterexample to process reliabilism is unsuccessful. He proposes a variety of responses, but all of them either feature an implausible restriction (...)
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  • The Eclipse of Instrumental Rationality.Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason.
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  • The Normative Status of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Stanford Enyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Permissivism and the Arbitrariness Objection.Robert Mark Simpson - 2017 - Episteme 14 (4):519-538.
    Permissivism says that for some propositions and bodies of evidence, there is more than one rationally permissible doxastic attitude that can be taken towards that proposition given the evidence. Some critics of this view argue that it condones, as rationally acceptable, sets of attitudes that manifest an untenable kind of arbitrariness. I begin by providing a new and more detailed explication of what this alleged arbitrariness consists in. I then explain why Miriam Schoenfield’s prima facie promising attempt to answer the (...)
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  • Disagreement and the Division of Epistemic Labor.Bjørn G. Hallsson & Klemens Kappel - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2823-2847.
    In this article we discuss what we call the deliberative division of epistemic labor. We present evidence that the human tendency to engage in motivated reasoning in defense of our beliefs can facilitate the occurrence of divisions of epistemic labor in deliberations among people who disagree. We further present evidence that these divisions of epistemic labor tend to promote beliefs that are better supported by the evidence. We show that promotion of these epistemic benefits stands in tension with what extant (...)
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  • Grounding the Domains of Reasons.Stephanie Leary - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):137-152.
    A good account of normative reasons should explain not only what makes practical and epistemic reasons a unified kind of thing, but also why practical and epistemic reasons are substantively differ...
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