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Epistemic Normativity

In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 243-264 (2009)

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  1. 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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  • Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
    When it comes to epistemic normativity, should we take the good to be prior to the right? That is, should we ground facts about what we ought and ought not believe on a given occasion in facts about the value of being in certain cognitive states (such as, for example, the value of having true beliefs)? The overwhelming answer among contemporary epistemologists is “Yes, we should.” This essay argues to the contrary. Just as taking the good to be prior to (...)
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  • Sosa on the Normativity of Belief.Pascal Engel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):617-624.
    Sosa takes epistemic normativity to be kind of performance normativity: a belief is correct because a believer sets a positive value to truth as an aim and performs aptly and adroitly. I object to this teleological picture that beliefs are not performances, and that epistemic reasons or beliefs cannot be balanced against practical reasons. Although the picture fits the nature of inquiry, it does not fit the normative nature of believing, which has to be conceived along distinct lines.
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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 Uniqueness and the Practical Relevance of Epistemic Practices.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (4):1721-1733.
    By taking the practical relevance of coordinated epistemic standards into account, Dogramaci and Horowitz (2016) as well as Greco and Hedden (2016) offer a new perspective on epistemic permissiveness. However, in its current state, their argument appears to be inconclusive. I will offer two reasons why this argument does not support interpersonal uniqueness in general. First, such an argument leaves open the possibility that distinct closed societies come to incompatible epistemic standards. Second, some epistemic practices like the promotion of methodological (...)
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  • An Epistemic Non-Consequentialism.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2020 - The Philosophical Review 129 (1):1-51.
    Despite the recent backlash against epistemic consequentialism, an explicit systematic alternative has yet to emerge. This paper articulates and defends a novel alternative, Epistemic Kantianism, which rests on a requirement of respect for the truth. §1 tackles some preliminaries concerning the proper formulation of the epistemic consequentialism / non-consequentialism divide, explains where Epistemic Kantianism falls in the dialectical landscape, and shows how it can capture what seems attractive about epistemic consequentialism while yielding predictions that are harder for the latter to (...)
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  • An Instrumentalist Account of How to Weigh Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - Mind:fzz062.
    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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  • Clifford, William Kingdom.Luis R. G. Oliveira - forthcoming - In Stewart Goetz & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion. Wiley-Blackwell.
    W.K. Clifford’s famous 1876 essay The Ethics of Belief contains one of the most memorable lines in the history of philosophy: "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." The challenge to religious belief stemming from this moralized version of evidentialism is still widely discussed today.
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  • A Puzzle About Knowledge, Blame, and Coherence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):493-503.
    Many philosophers have offered arguments in favor of the following three theses: A is epistemically permitted to believe P only if A is in a position to know that P, incoherent agents fail to satisfy the aforementioned knowledge norm of belief, and A’s apparent reasons are relevant to determining what A is blameworthy for believing. In this paper, I argue that the above three theses are jointly inconsistent. The main upshot of the paper is this: even if the knowledge norm (...)
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  • Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
    For many epistemologists and normativity theorists, epistemic norms necessarily entail normative reasons. Why or in virtue of what do epistemic norms have this necessary normative authority? According to what I call epistemic constitutivism, it is ultimately because belief constitutively aims at truth. In this paper, I examine various versions of the aim of belief thesis and argue that none of them can plausibly ground the normative authority of epistemic norms. I conclude that epistemic constitutivism is not a promising strategy for (...)
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  • Authenticity and Self‐Knowledge.Simon D. Feldman & Allan Hazlett - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (2):157-181.
    We argue that the value of authenticity does not explain the value of self-knowledge. There are a plurality of species of authenticity; in this paper we consider four species: avoiding pretense (section 2), Frankfurtian wholeheartedness (section 3), existential self-knowledge (section 4), and spontaneity (section 5). Our thesis is that, for each of these species, the value of (that species of) authenticity does not (partially) explain the value of self-knowledge. Moreover, when it comes to spontaneity, the value of (that species of) (...)
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  • Trasformazione e germinazione: per una nuova filosofia della nascita.Guido Cusinato - 2017 - Thaumàzein 4.
    The thesis of this paper is that – in order to avoid trivializations – a Philosophy of Birth needs to elaborate a precise concept of transformation and distinguish it carefully from that of adaptation. While transformation goes beyond the limited self-referential perspective of an individual and, on the social level, of the gregarious identity, adaptation aims at strengthening or preserving the old self-referential equilibrium. Transformation is driven by what Zambrano has called, with an exceptionally happy expression, the “hunger to be (...)
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  • Epistemically Transformative Experience.Jane Friedman - manuscript
    A discussion of L.A. Paul's 'Transformative Experience' from an Author Meets Critics session at the 2015 Pacific APA.
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate (...)
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  • Understanding and Structure.Allan Hazlett - 2017 - In Stephen Grimm (ed.), Making Sense of the World: New Essays on the Philosophy of Understanding. Oxford University Press.
    In the Phaedrus, Socreates sympathetically describes the ability “to cut up each kind according to its species along its natural joints, and to try not to splinter any part, as a bad butcher might do.” (265e) In contemporary philosophy, Ted Sider (2009, 2011) defends the same idea. As I shall put it, Plato and Sider’s idea is that limning structure is an epistemic goal. My aim in this paper is to articulate and defend this idea. First, I’ll articulate the notion (...)
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  • I—Alan Millar: Why Knowledge Matters.Alan Millar - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1):63-81.
    An explanation is given of why it is in the nature of inquiry into whether or not p that its aim is fully achieved only if one comes to know that p or to know that not-p and, further, comes to know how one knows, either way. In the absence of the latter one is in no position to take the inquiry to be successfully completed or to vouch for the truth of the matter in hand. An upshot is that (...)
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  • Agency and Reasons in Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, (...)
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  • Expressivism and Convention-Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In A. Fairweather & O. Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press.
    Consider the claim that openmindedness is an epistemic virtue, the claim that true belief is epistemically valuable, and the claim that one epistemically ought to cleave to one’s evidence. These are examples of what I’ll call “ epistemic discourse.” In this paper I’ll propose and defend a view called “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse.” In particular, I’ll argue that convention-relativismis superior to its main rival, expressivism about epistemic discourse. Expressivism and conventionalism both jibe with anti-realism about epistemic normativity, which is motivated (...)
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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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  • Deontological Evidentialism, Wide-Scope, and Privileged Values.Luis Oliveira - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):485-506.
    Deontological evidentialism is the claim that we ought to form and maintain our beliefs in accordance with our evidence. In this paper, I criticize two arguments in its defense. I begin by discussing Berit Broogard’s use of the distinction between narrow-scope and wide-scope requirements against W.K. Clifford’s moral defense of. I then use this very distinction against a defense of inspired by Stephen Grimm’s more recent claims about the moral source of epistemic normativity. I use this distinction once again to (...)
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  • How to Be a Teleologist About Epistemic Reasons.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2011 - In Asbjorn Steglich-Petersen & Andrew Reisner (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13--33.
    In this paper I propose a teleological account of epistemic reasons. In recent years, the main challenge for any such account has been to explicate a sense in which epistemic reasons depend on the value of epistemic properties. I argue that while epistemic reasons do not directly depend on the value of epistemic properties, they depend on a different class of reasons which are value based in a direct sense, namely reasons to form beliefs about certain propositions or subject matters. (...)
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  • Epistemic Supererogation and its Implications.Trevor Hedberg - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3621-3637.
    Supererogatory acts, those which are praiseworthy but not obligatory, have become a significant topic in contemporary moral philosophy, primarily because morally supererogatory acts have proven difficult to reconcile with other important aspects of normative ethics. However, despite the similarities between ethics and epistemology, epistemic supererogation has received very little attention. In this paper, I aim to further the discussion of supererogation by arguing for the existence of epistemically supererogatory acts and considering the potential implications of their existence. First, I offer (...)
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  • Knowledge, Practical Interests, and Rising Tides.Stephen R. Grimm - 2015 - In John Greco & David Henderson (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Defenders of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology (or what I call practicalism) need to address two main problems. First, the view seems to imply, absurdly, that knowledge can come and go quite easily—in particular, that it might come and go along with our variable practical interests. We can call this the stability problem. Second, there seems to be no fully satisfying way of explaining whose practical interests matter. We can call this the “whose stakes?” problem. I argue that both problems can (...)
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  • Pragmatism, Growth, and Democratic Citizenship.Wesley Dempster - 2016 - Dissertation, Bowling Green State University
    This dissertation defends an ideal of democratic citizenship inspired by John Dewey’s theory of human flourishing, or “growth.” In its emphasis on the interrelatedness of individual development and social progress, Deweyan growth orients us toward a morally substantive approach to addressing the important question of how diverse citizens can live together well. I argue, however, that Dewey’s understanding of growth as a process by which conflicting interests, beliefs, and values are integrated into a more unified whole—both within the community and (...)
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  • Do You Really Want to Know? Challenging Pragmatism and Clearing Space for the Intrinsic Value View.Michael Bruckner - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):1-22.
    Pragmatic theories of epistemic normativity ground norms of belief formation in true belief’s instrumental value as a means to promoting our desires. I argue that advocates of this view face a dilemma: either they agree that epistemic norms prescribe truth-conducive procedures of belief formation, which is untenable against the backdrop of their theory, or they dismiss the truth-conduciveness criterion and thereby render themselves incapable of explaining an intuition that most of us share: in cases where false beliefs generate the same (...)
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  • Epistemological Closed Questions: A Reply to Greco.Charles Côte-Bouchard - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (4):97-111.
    ABSTRACT According to G.E. Moore’s ‘Open Question’ argument, moral facts cannot be reduced or analyzed in non-normative natural terms. Does the OQA apply equally in the epistemic domain? Does Moore’s argument have the same force against reductionist accounts of epistemic facts and concepts? In a recent article, Daniel Greco has argued that it does. According to Greco, an epistemological version of the OQA is just as promising as its moral cousin, because the relevant questions in epistemology are just as ‘open’ (...)
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  • Wisdom.Stephen R. Grimm - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):1-16.
    What is it that makes someone wise, or one person wiser than another? I argue that wisdom consists in knowledge of how to live well, and that this knowledge of how to live well is constituted by various further kinds of knowledge. One concern for this view is that knowledge is not needed for wisdom but rather some state short of knowledge, such as having rational or justified beliefs about various topics. Another concern is that the emphasis on knowing how (...)
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  • In Defence of Instrumentalism About Epistemic Normativity.Christopher Cowie - 2014 - Synthese 191 (16):4003-4017.
    According to epistemic instrumentalists the normativity of evidence for belief is best explained in terms of the practical utility of forming evidentially supported beliefs. Traditional arguments for instrumentalism—arguments based on naturalism and motivation—lack suasive force against opponents. A new argument for the view—the Argument from Coincidence—is presented. The argument shows that only instrumentalists can avoid positing an embarrassing coincidence between the practical value of believing in accordance with one’s evidence, and the existence of reasons so to believe. Responses are considered (...)
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  • Truth Promoting Non-Evidential Reasons for Belief.Brian Talbot - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):599-618.
    Sometimes a belief that p promotes having true beliefs, whether or not p is true. This gives reasons to believe that p, but most epistemologists would deny that it gives epistemic reasons, or that these reasons can epistemically justify the belief that p. Call these reasons to believe “truth promoting non-evidential reasons for belief.” This paper argues that three common views in epistemology, taken together, entail that reasons of this sort can epistemically justify beliefs. These three claims are: epistemic oughts (...)
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  • A Eudaimonist Approach to the Problem of Significance.Anne Baril - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):215-241.
    Some beliefs seem more significant than others. This paper suggests an approach to explaining this apparent fact. As there are multiple senses in which one belief may be more significant than another, multiple possible sources of such significance, and, moreover, no prima facie reason to expect a single, unified account under which all these senses and sources can be subsumed, I propose the modest approach of articulating just one feature in virtue of which a belief may fairly be called significant: (...)
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  • Epistemic Goals and Epistemic Values.Stephen R. Grimm - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):725-744.
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  • Why is Warrant Normative?Peter J. Graham - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):110-128.
    Having an etiological function to F is sufficient to have a competence to F. Having an etiological function to reliably F is sufficient to have a reliable competence, a competence to reliably F. Epistemic warrant consists in the normal functioning of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Epistemic warrant requires reliable competence. Warrant divides into two grades. The first consists in normal functioning, when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as (...)
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  • What Is Interesting?Stephen Grimm - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):515-542.
    In this paper I consider what it is that makes certain topics or questions epistemically interesting. Getting clear about this issue, I argue, is not only interesting in its own right, but also helps to shed light on increasingly important and perplexing questions in the epistemological literature: e.g., questions concerning how to think about ‘the epistemic point of view,’ as well as questions concerning what is most worthy of our intellectual attention and why.
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  • Authenticity and Self‐Knowledge.Allan Hazlett Simon D. Feldman - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (2):157-181.
    We argue that the value of authenticity does not explain the value of self‐knowledge. There are a plurality of species of authenticity; in this paper we consider four species: avoiding pretense , Frankfurtian wholeheartedness , existential self‐knowledge , and spontaneity . Our thesis is that, for each of these species, the value of authenticity does not explain the value of self‐knowledge. Moreover, when it comes to spontaneity, the value of authenticity conflicts with the value of self‐knowledge.
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  • Teleological Epistemology.Jane Friedman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):673-691.
    It is typically thought that some epistemic states are valuable—knowing, truly or accurately believing, understanding. These are states it’s thought good to be in and it’s also said that we aim or want to be in them. It is then sometimes claimed that these sorts of thoughts about epistemic goods or values ground or explain our epistemic norms. For instance, we think subjects should follow their evidence when they form their beliefs. But why should they? Why not believe against the (...)
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  • Junk Beliefs and Interest‐Driven Epistemology.Jane Friedman - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):568-583.
    In this paper I revisit Gilbert Harman's arguments for a "clutter avoidance" norm. The norm -- which says that we ought to avoid cluttering our minds with trivialities -- is widely endorsed. I argue that it has some fairly dramatic consequences for normative epistemology.
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  • Detecting Epistemic Vice in Higher Education Policy: Epistemic Insensibility in the Seven Solutions and the REF.Heather Battaly - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (2):263-280.
    This article argues that the Seven Solutions in the US, and the Research Excellence Framework in the UK, manifest the vice of epistemic insensibility. Section I provides an overview of Aristotle's analysis of moral vice in people. Section II applies Aristotle's analysis to epistemic vice, developing an account of epistemic insensibility. In so doing, it contributes a new epistemic vice to the field of virtue epistemology. Section III argues that the (US) Seven Breakthrough Solutions and, to a lesser extent, the (...)
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