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Is evidence non-inferential?

Philosophical Quarterly 54 (215):252–265 (2004)

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  1. Abductive Knowledge and Holmesian Inference.Alexander Bird - 2005 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--31.
    The usual, comparative, conception of inference to the best explanation (IBE) takes it to be ampliative. In this paper I propose a conception of IBE ('Holmesian inference') that takes it to be a species of eliminative induction and hence not ampliative. This avoids several problems for comparative IBE (for example, how could it be reliable enough to generate knowledge?). My account of Holmesian inference raises the suspicion that it could never be applied, on the grounds that scientific hypotheses are inevitably (...)
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  • Reasons and Theoretical Rationality.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    A discussion of epistemic reasons, theoretical rationality, and the relationship between them. Discusses the ontology of reasons and evidence, the relationship between reasons (motivating, normative, possessed, apparent, genuine, etc.) and rationality, the relationship between epistemic reasons and evidence, the relationship between rationality, justification, and knowledge, and many other related topics.
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  • Pritchard’s Reasons.Clayton Littlejohn - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41:201-219.
    My contribution to the author meets critics discussion of Pritchard's _Epistemological Disjunctivism_. In this paper, I examine some of the possible motivations for epistemological disjunctivism and look at some of the costs associated with the view. While Pritchard's view seems to be that our visual beliefs constitute knowledge because they're based on reasons, I argue that the claim that visual beliefs are based on reasons or evidence hasn't been sufficiently motivated. In the end I suggest that we'll get all the (...)
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  • Evidence and Armchair Access.Clayton Mitchell Littlejohn - 2011 - Synthese 179 (3):479-500.
    In this paper, I shall discuss a problem that arises when you try to combine an attractive account of what constitutes evidence with an independently plausible account of the kind of access we have to our evidence. According to E = K, our evidence consists of what we know. According to the principle of armchair access, we can know from the armchair what our evidence is. Combined, these claims entail that we can have armchair knowledge of the external world. Because (...)
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  • No Evidence is False.Clayton Littlejohn - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (2):145-159.
    If evidence is propositional, is one’s evidence limited to true propositions or might false propositions constitute evidence? In this paper, I consider three recent attempts to show that there can be ‘false evidence,’ and argue that each of these attempts fails. The evidence for the thesis that evidence consists of truths is much stronger than the evidence offered in support of the theoretical assumptions that people have relied on to argue against this thesis. While I shall not defend the view (...)
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  • Approximate Truth, Quasi-Factivity, and Evidence.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):249-266.
    The main question addressed in this paper is whether some false sentences can constitute evidence for the truth of other propositions. In this paper it is argued that there are good reasons to suspect that at least some false propositions can constitute evidence for the truth of certain other contingent propositions. The paper also introduces a novel condition concerning propositions that constitute evidence that explains a ubiquitous evidential practice and it contains a defense of a particular condition concerning the possession (...)
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  • Evidence and its Limits.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press.
    On a standard view about reasons, evidence, and justification, there is justification for you to believe all and only what your evidence supports and the reasons that determine whether there is justification to believe are all just pieces of evidence. This view is mistaken about two things. It is mistaken about the rational role of evidence. It is also mistaken about the rational role of reasons. To show this, I present two basis problems for the standard view and argue that (...)
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  • Pritchard’s Reasons in Advance.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
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  • Inferential Evidence.Jeffrey Dunn - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3):203-213.
    Consider: -/- The Evidence Question: When, and under what conditions does an agent have proposition E as evidence (at t)? -/- Timothy Williamson's (2000) answer to this question is the well-known E = K thesis: -/- E = K: E is a member of S's evidence set at t iff S knows E at t. -/- I will argue that this answer is inconsistent with the version of Bayesianism that Williamson advocates. This is because E = K allows an agent (...)
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  • Bayesian Epistemology and Having Evidence.Jeffrey Dunn - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Bayesian Epistemology is a general framework for thinking about agents who have beliefs that come in degrees. Theories in this framework give accounts of rational belief and rational belief change, which share two key features: (i) rational belief states are represented with probability functions, and (ii) rational belief change results from the acquisition of evidence. This dissertation focuses specifically on the second feature. I pose the Evidence Question: What is it to have evidence? Before addressing this question we must have (...)
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  • Reliability for Degrees of Belief.Jeff Dunn - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1929-1952.
    We often evaluate belief-forming processes, agents, or entire belief states for reliability. This is normally done with the assumption that beliefs are all-or-nothing. How does such evaluation go when we’re considering beliefs that come in degrees? I consider a natural answer to this question that focuses on the degree of truth-possession had by a set of beliefs. I argue that this natural proposal is inadequate, but for an interesting reason. When we are dealing with all-or-nothing belief, high reliability leads to (...)
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  • It’s Not so Easy to Be a Fallibilist.Masaharu Mizumoto - 2011 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 19:1-25.
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  • Some Evidence is False.Alexander Arnold - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):165 - 172.
    According to some philosophers who accept a propositional conception of evidence, someone's evidence includes a proposition only if it is true. I argue against this thesis by appealing to the possibility of knowledge from falsehood.
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  • Concessive Knowledge Attributions and Fallibilism.Clayton Littlejohn - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):603-619.
    Lewis thought concessive knowledge attributions (e.g., ‘I know that Harry is a zebra, but it might be that he’s just a cleverly disguised mule’) caused serious trouble for fallibilists. As he saw it, CKAs are overt statements of the fallibilist view and they are contradictory. Dougherty and Rysiew have argued that CKAs are pragmatically defective rather than semantically defective. Stanley thinks that their pragmatic response to Lewis fails, but the fallibilist cause is not lost because Lewis was wrong about the (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Science—a Bird’s-Eye View.Alexander Bird - 2010 - Synthese 175 (S1):5-16.
    In this paper I outline my conception of the epistemology of science, by reference to my published papers, showing how the ideas presented there fit together. In particular I discuss the aim of science, scientific progress, the nature of scientific evidence, the failings of empiricism, inference to the best (or only) explanation, and Kuhnian psychology of discovery. Throughout, I emphasize the significance of the concept of scientific knowledge.
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  • Evidence and Inference.Alexander Bird - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):299-317.
    I articulate a functional characterisation of the concept of evidence, according to which evidence is that which allows us to make inferences that extend our knowledge. This entails Williamson's equation of knowledge with evidence.
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  • XV—The Russellian Retreat.Clayton Littlejohn - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):293-320.
    Belief does aim at the truth. When our beliefs do not fit the facts, they cannot do what they are supposed to do, because they cannot provide us with reasons. We cannot plausibly deny that a truth norm is among the norms that govern belief. What we should not say is that the truth norm is the fundamental epistemic norm. In this paper, I shall argue that knowledge is the norm of belief and that the truth norm has a derivative (...)
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