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  1. Epistemic Reasons Are Not Normative Reasons for Belief.Samuel Montplaisir - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (4):573-587.
    In this paper, I argue against the view that epistemic reasons are normative reasons for belief. I begin by responding to some of the most widespread arguments in favor of the normativity of epistemic reasons before advancing two arguments against this thesis. The first is supported by an analysis of what it means to “have” some evidence for p. The second is supported by the claim that beliefs, if they are to be considered as states, cannot have epistemic reasons as (...)
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  • The Conflict of Evidence and Coherence.Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1):3-44.
    For many epistemologists, and for many philosophers more broadly, it is axiomatic that rationality requires you to take the doxastic attitudes that your evidence supports. Yet there is also another current in our talk about rationality. On this usage, rationality is a matter of the right kind of coherence between one's mental attitudes. Surprisingly little work in epistemology is explicitly devoted to answering the question of how these two currents of talk are related. But many implicitly assume that evidence -responsiveness (...)
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  • The Epistemic Force of Perceptual Experience.Susanna Schellenberg - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):87-100.
    What is the metaphysical nature of perceptual experience? What evidence does experience provide us with? These questions are typically addressed in isolation. In order to make progress in answering both questions, perceptual experience needs to be studied in an integrated manner. I develop a unified account of the phenomenological and epistemological role of perceptual experience, by arguing that sensory states provide perceptual evidence due to their metaphysical structure. More specifically, I argue that sensory states are individuated by the perceptual capacities (...)
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  • The Type-B Moral Error Theory.Anthony Robert Booth - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    I introduce a new version of Moral Error Theory, which I call Type-B Moral Error Theory. According to a Type-B theorist there are no facts of the kind required for there to be morality in stricto sensu, but there can be irreducible ‘normative’ properties which she deems, strictly speaking, to be morally irrelevant. She accepts that there are instrumental all things considered oughts, and categorical pro tanto oughts, but denies that there are categorical all things considered oughts on pain of (...)
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  • Why Jonas Olson Cannot Believe the Error Theory Either.Bart Streumer - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (4):419-436.
    Jonas Olson writes that "a plausible moral error theory must be an error theory about all irreducible normativity". I agree. But unlike Olson, I think we cannot believe this error theory. I first argue that Olson should say that reasons for belief are irreducibly normative. I then argue that if reasons for belief are irreducibly normative, we cannot believe an error theory about all irreducible normativity. I then explain why I think Olson's objections to this argument fail. I end by (...)
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  • Good News for Moral Error Theorists: A Master Argument Against Companions in Guilt Strategies.Christopher Cowie - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):115-130.
    Moral error theories are often rejected by appeal to ‘companions in guilt’ arguments. The most popular form of companions in guilt argument takes epistemic reasons for belief as a ‘companion’ and proceeds by analogy. I show that this strategy fails. I claim that the companions in guilt theorist must understand epistemic reasons as evidential support relations if her argument is to be dialectically effective. I then present a dilemma. Either epistemic reasons are evidential support relations or they are not. If (...)
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  • Ecumenical Epistemic Instrumentalism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2021 - 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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  • Does Belief (Only) Aim at the Truth?Daniel Whiting - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2):279-300.
    It is common to hear talk of the aim of belief and to find philosophers appealing to that aim for numerous explanatory purposes. What belief 's aim explains depends, of course, on what that aim is. Many hold that it is somehow related to truth, but there are various ways in which one might specify belief 's aim using the notion of truth. In this article, by considering whether they can account for belief 's standard of correctness and the epistemic (...)
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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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  • Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence.Jonas Olson - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Jonas Olson presents a critical survey of moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and so all moral claims are false. Part I explores the historical context of the debate; Part II assesses J. L. Mackie's famous arguments; Part III defends error theory against challenges and considers its implications for our moral thinking.
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  • Reasons and Promotion.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):98-122.
    A number of philosophers accept promotionalism, the view that whether there is a normative reason for an agent to perform an action or have an attitude depends on whether her doing so promotes a value, desire, interest, goal, or end. I show that promotionalism faces a prima facie problem when it comes to reasons for belief: it looks extensionally inadequate. I then articulate two general strategies promotionalists can used to solve this problem and argue that, even if one of these (...)
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  • Companions in Guilt Arguments.Christopher Cowie - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12528.
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  • The Epistemology of Testimonal Trust.Jesper Kallestrup - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):150-174.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Is Epistemic Normativity Value-Based?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2017 - Dialogue 56 (3):407-430.
    What is the source of epistemic normativity? In virtue of what do epistemic norms have categorical normative authority? According to epistemic teleologism, epistemic normativity comes from value. Epistemic norms have categorical authority because conforming to them is necessarily good in some relevant sense. In this article, I argue that epistemic teleologism should be rejected. The problem, I argue, is that there is no relevant sense in which it is always good to believe in accordance with epistemic norms, including in cases (...)
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  • Evidential Support and Instrumental Rationality.Peter Brössel, Anna-Maria A. Eder & Franz Huber - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):279-300.
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  • Which Reasons? Which Rationality?Daniel Fogal & Alex Worsnip - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (11).
    The slogan that rationality is about responding to reasons has a turbulent history: once taken for granted; then widely rejected; now enjoying a resurgence. The slogan is made harder to assess by an ever-increasing plethora of distinctions pertaining to reasons and rationality. Here we are occupied with two such distinctions: that between subjective and objective reasons, and that between structural rationality (a.k.a. coherence) and substantive rationality (a.k.a. reasonableness). Our paper has two main aims. The first is to defend dualism about (...)
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  • The Epistemic and the Zetetic.Jane Friedman - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (4):501-536.
    Call the norms of inquiry zetetic norms. How are zetetic norms related to epistemic norms? At first glance, they seem quite closely connected. Aren't epistemic norms norms that bind inquirers qua inquirers? And isn't epistemology the place to look for a normative theory of inquiry? While much of this thought seems right, this paper argues that the relationship between the epistemic and the zetetic is not as harmonious as one might have thought and liked. In particular, this paper argues that (...)
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  • Naturalizing the Contributory.Philip Fox - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6275-6298.
    This paper has two aims. First, I critically discuss Daniel Whiting’s :2191–2208, 2018) recent proposal that a reason to ϕ is evidence of a respect in which it is right to ϕ. I raise two objections against this view: it is subject to a modified version of Eva Schmidt’s :708–718, 2018) counterexample against the influential account of reasons in terms of evidence and ‘ought’, and—setting aside judgments about specific cases—, it is also in an important sense uninformative. Interestingly, it turns (...)
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  • Justifying Method Choice: A Heuristic-Instrumentalist Account of Scientific Methodology.Till Grüne-Yanoff - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3903-3921.
    Scientific methods are heuristic in nature. Heuristics are simplifying, incomplete, underdetermined and fallible problem-solving rules that can nevertheless serve certain goals in certain contexts better than truth-preserving algorithms. Because of their goal- and context-dependence, a framework is needed for systematic choosing between them. This is the domain of scientific methodology. Such a methodology, I argue, relies on a form of instrumental rationality. Three challenges to such an instrumentalist account are addressed. First, some authors have argued that the rational choice of (...)
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  • Radical Pragmatism in the Ethics of Belief.Samuel Montplaisir - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):403-419.
    In this paper, I defend the view that only practical reasons are normative reasons for belief. This requires viewing beliefs as the predictable results of our actions. I will show how this fits with our intuitions about mental autonomy. The remainder of the paper consists in a defense against a series of objections that may be expected against this position. The paper concludes with a metaphilosophical explanation about our conflicting intuitions regarding the normativity of rationality.
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  • Varieties of Epistemic Instrumentalism.Daniel Buckley - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9293-9313.
    There exists a family of views concerning the foundations of epistemic normativity that all travel under the heading “epistemic instrumentalism”. These views are unified by their attempt to explain epistemic normativity in terms of instrumental normativity. Very roughly, they all say that we have reason to respond to truth-related considerations when forming and maintaining doxastic attitudes since regulating our doxastic attitudes in this way helps us satisfy our aims, interests, or goals. Thus, according to epistemic instrumentalists, truth-related considerations constitute reasons (...)
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  • Why Epistemic Reductionism Won’T Save the Moral Error Theorist.Alex Murphy - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):53-69.
    Moral error theorists often respond to the epistemic companions in guilt strategy by adopting the Disparity Response: reject the putative parity between moral and epistemic reasons and claim that though the former are irreducibly normative, the latter aren’t. I argue such a response fails. Expanding on Das’ Australas J Philos 95:58–69, work I present a master argument against Disparity Responses: the arguments moral error theorists use to advance their conceptual claim apply in the epistemic domain also. This prohibits the error (...)
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  • A Pluralistic Account of Epistemic Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3571-3596.
    In this essay, I aim to motivate and defend a pluralistic view of epistemic rationality. At the core of the view is the notion that epistemic rationality is essentially a species of practical rationality put in the service of various epistemic goals. I begin by sketching some closely related views that have appeared in the literature. I then present my preferred version of the view and sketch some of its benefits. Thomas Kelly has raised challenging objections to a part of (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism.Matthew Lockard - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1701-1718.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemically rational beliefs are beliefs that are produced in ways that are conducive to certain ends that one wants to attain. In “Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique,” Thomas Kelly advances various objections to epistemic instrumentalism. While I agree with the general thrust of Kelly’s objections, he does not distinguish between two forms of epistemic instrumentalism. Intellectualist forms maintain that epistemically rational beliefs are beliefs arrived at in compliance with rules that are conducive to epistemic (...)
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  • No Commitment to the Truth.Anna-Maria A. Eder - 2020 - Synthese (8):1-24.
    On an evidentialist position, it is epistemically rational for us to believe propositions that are (stably) supported by our total evidence. We are epistemically permitted to believe such propositions, and perhaps even ought to do so. Epistemic rationality is normative. One popular way to explain the normativity appeals to epistemic teleology. The primary aim of this paper is to argue that appeals to epistemic teleology do not support that we ought to believe what is rational to believe, only that we (...)
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  • From Impossibility to Evidentialism?Alex Worsnip - 2021 - Episteme 18 (3):384-406.
    It's often said that it is impossible to respond to non-evidential considerations in belief-formation, at least not directly and consciously. Many philosophers think that this provides grounds for accepting a normative thesis: typically, some kind of evidentialism about reasons for belief, or what one ought to believe. Some also think it supports thinking that evidentialist norms are constitutive of belief. There are a variety of ways in which one might try to support such theses by appeal to the impossibility-claim. In (...)
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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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  • No Match Point for the Permissibility Account.Anna-Maria A. Eder - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):657-673.
    In the literature, one finds two accounts of the normative status of rational belief: the ought account and the permissibility account. Both accounts have their advantages and shortcomings, making it difficult to favour one over the other. Imagine that there were two principles of rational belief or rational degrees of belief commonly considered plausible, but which, however, yielded a paradox together with one account, but not with the other. One of the accounts therefore requires us to give up one of (...)
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  • Understanding 'Sensorimotor Understanding'.Tom Roberts - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):101-111.
    Sensorimotor theories understand perception to be a process of active, exploratory engagement with the environment, mediated by the possession and exercise of a certain body of knowledge concerning sensorimotor dependencies. This paper aims to characterise that exercise, and to show that it places constraints upon the content of sensorimotor knowledge itself. Sensorimotor mastery is exercised when it is put to use in the service of intentional action-planning and selection, and this rules out certain standard readings of sensorimotor contingency knowledge. Rather (...)
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  • Epistemic Rationality.Harvey Siegel - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (5):608-630.
    Critique of instrumental accounts of epistemic rationality.
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  • Right in Some Respects: Reasons as Evidence.Daniel Whiting - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2191-2208.
    What is a normative reason for acting? In this paper, I introduce and defend a novel answer to this question. The starting-point is the view that reasons are right-makers. By exploring difficulties facing it, I arrive at an alternative, according to which reasons are evidence of respects in which it is right to perform an act, for example, that it keeps a promise. This is similar to the proposal that reasons for a person to act are evidence that she ought (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Epistemic Disagreement and Practical Disagreement.Christopher Cowie - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):191-209.
    It is often thought that the correct metaphysics and epistemology of reasons will be broadly unified across different kinds of reason: reasons for belief, and reasons for action. This approach is sometimes thought to be undermined by the contrasting natures of belief and of action: whereas belief appears to have the ‘constitutive aim’ of truth (or knowledge), action does not appear to have any such constitutive aim. I develop this disanalogy into a novel challenge to metanormative approaches by thinking about (...)
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  • Elgin’s Community-Oriented Steadfastness.Klaas J. Kraay - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):4985-5008.
    In recent years, epistemologists have devoted enormous attention to this question: what should happen when two epistemic peers disagree about the truth-value of some proposition? Some have argued that that in all such cases, both parties are rationally required to revise their position in some way. Others have maintained that, in at least some cases, neither party is rationally required to revise her position. In this paper, I examine a provocative and under-appreciated argument for the latter view due to Elgin (...)
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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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  • Checking Again.Jane Friedman - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):84-96.
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  • The Evidence of the Senses is No Evidence From the Senses.Tommaso Piazza - 2013 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 16 (1):174-191.
    In the first part of this paper I suggest that Dogmatism about perceptual justification – the view that in the most basic cases, perceptual justification is immediate – commits to rejecting Evidentialism, as it commits, specifically, to accounting for the mechanics of perceptual justification otherwise than by maintaining that perceptual experiences justify by providing evidence. In the second part of the paper, by following W. Hopp’s recent interpretation of Husserl’s Sixth Logical Investigation, I suggest that Husserl’s theory of fulfilment provides (...)
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  • Experience and Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):699-747.
    I argue that perceptual experience provides us with both phenomenal and factive evidence. To a first approximation, we can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. To a first approximation, we can understand factive evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment. I argue that the rational source of both phenomenal and (...)
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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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  • Norms of Group Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Wisconsin at Madison
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  • Les Raisons Épistémiques Sont-Elles Instrumentales?Daniel Laurier - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (2):211-231.
    In a recent article (2011), Steglich-Petersen claims to be able to provide a teleological account of the nature of epistemic reasons which (i) avoids the standard objections to this kind of approach and (ii) is compatible with the evidentialist claim that epistemic reasons always trump non-epistemic reasons (assuming there are such reasons). I argue that his proposal is unable to do justice to the idea that epistemic reasons are constituted by the evidence, and more generally, that it is incoherent to (...)
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  • Legality and Rationality: A Comment on Scott Shapiro's Legality.Emily Sherwin - 2013 - Legal Theory 19 (4):403-421.
    One key premise in Shapiro's book Legality is that rationality requires those who have accepted the master plan for a system of law to obey the system's rules. In this paper, I question this premise, arguing instead that although it may be rational for agents to commit to follow the system's rule in all (or most) cases to which they apply, it is not rational for agents to follow the rules in fact when the rules appear to require the wrong (...)
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  • Moral Reasons, Epistemic Reasons, and Rationality.Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):341-361.
    It is standard, both in the philosophical literature and in ordinary parlance, to assume that one can fall short of responding to all one’s moral reasons without being irrational. Yet when we turn to epistemic reasons, the situation could not be more different. Most epistemologists take it as axiomatic that for a belief to be rational is for it to be well-supported by epistemic reasons. We find ourselves with a striking asymmetry, then, between the moral and epistemic domains concerning what (...)
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