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Inquiry and the doxastic attitudes

Synthese 197 (11):4947-4973 (2020)

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  1. There Are No Epistemic Norms of Inquiry.David Thorstad - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-24.
    Epistemic nihilism for inquiry is the claim that there are no epistemic norms of inquiry. Epistemic nihilism was once the received stance towards inquiry, and I argue that it should be taken seriously again. My argument is that the same considerations which led us away from epistemic nihilism in the case of belief not only cannot refute epistemic nihilism for inquiry, but in fact may well support it. These include the argument from non-existence that there are no non-epistemic reasons for (...)
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  • The Aim of Inquiry.Avery Archer - 2021 - Disputatio 13 (61):95-119.
    I defend the thesis that the constitutive aim of inquiring into some question, Q, is improving one’s epistemic standing with respect to Q. Call this the epistemic-improvement view. I consider and ultimately reject two alternative accounts of the constitutive aim of inquiry—namely, the thesis that inquiry aims at knowledge and the thesis that inquiry aims at belief—and I use my criticisms as a foil for clarifying and motivating the epistemic-improvement view. I also consider and reject a pair of normative theses (...)
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  • The Knowledge Norm for Inquiry.Christopher Willard-Kyle - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    A growing number of epistemologists have endorsed the Ignorance Norm for Inquiry. Roughly, this norm says that one shouldn’t inquire into a question unless one is ignorant of its answer. I argue that, in addition to ignorance, proper inquiry requires a certain kind of knowledge. Roughly, one shouldn’t inquire into a question unless one knows it has a true answer. I call this the Knowledge Norm for Inquiry. Proper inquiry walks a fine line, holding knowledge that there’s an answer in (...)
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  • The safe, the sensitive, and the severely tested: a unified account.Georgi Gardiner & Brian Zaharatos - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-33.
    This essay presents a unified account of safety, sensitivity, and severe testing. S’s belief is safe iff, roughly, S could not easily have falsely believed p, and S’s belief is sensitive iff were p false S would not believe p. These two conditions are typically viewed as rivals but, we argue, they instead play symbiotic roles. Safety and sensitivity are both valuable epistemic conditions, and the relevant alternatives framework provides the scaffolding for their mutually supportive roles. The relevant alternatives condition (...)
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  • Publishing Without (Some) Belief.Will Fleisher - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):237-246.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • A Defeasible Calculus for Zetetic Agents.Jared A. Millson - 2021 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 30 (1):3-37.
    The study of defeasible reasoning unites epistemologists with those working in AI, in part, because both are interested in epistemic rationality. While it is traditionally thought to govern the formation and (with)holding of beliefs, epistemic rationality may also apply to the interrogative attitudes associated with our core epistemic practice of inquiry, such as wondering, investigating, and curiosity. Since generally intelligent systems should be capable of rational inquiry, AI researchers have a natural interest in the norms that govern interrogative attitudes. Following (...)
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  • Why Double-Check?Elise Woodard - forthcoming - Episteme:1-24.
    Can you rationally double-check what you already know? In this paper, I argue that you can. Agents can know that something is true and rationally double-check it at the very same time. I defend my position by considering a wide variety of cases where agents double-check their beliefs to gain epistemic improvements beyond knowledge. These include certainty, epistemic resilience, and sensitivity to error. Although this phenomenon is widespread, my proposal faces two types of challenges. First, some have defended ignorance norms, (...)
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  • Scientific Conclusions Need Not Be Accurate, Justified, or Believed by Their Authors.Haixin Dang & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - Synthese 199:8187–8203.
    We argue that the main results of scientific papers may appropriately be published even if they are false, unjustified, and not believed to be true or justified by their author. To defend this claim we draw upon the literature studying the norms of assertion, and consider how they would apply if one attempted to hold claims made in scientific papers to their strictures, as assertions and discovery claims in scientific papers seem naturally analogous. We first use a case study of (...)
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  • Credences and Suspended Judgments as Transitional Attitudes.Julia Staffel - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):281-294.
    In this paper, I highlight an interesting difference between belief on the one hand, and suspended judgment and credence on the other hand. This difference is the following: credences and suspended judgments are suitable to serve as transitional as well as terminal attitudes in our reasoning, whereas beliefs are only appropriate as terminal attitudes. The notion of a transitional attitude is not an established one in the literature, but I argue that introducing it helps us better understand the different roles (...)
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  • How Low Can You Go? A Defense of Believing Philosophical Theories.Elizabeth Jackson - manuscript
    What attitude should philosophers take toward their favorite philosophical theories? I argue that the answer is belief and middling to low credence. I begin by discussing why disagreement has motivated the view that we cannot rationally believe our philosophical theories. Then, I show why considerations from disagreement actually better support my view. I provide two additional arguments for my view: the first concerns roles for belief and credence and the second explains why believing one’s philosophical theories is superior to accepting (...)
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  • How to Solve the Puzzle of Peer Disagreement.Michele Palmira - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):83-96.
    While it seems hard to deny the epistemic significance of a disagreement with our acknowledged epistemic peers, there are certain disagreements, such as philosophical disagreements, which appear to be permissibly sustainable. These two claims, each independently plausible, are jointly puzzling. This paper argues for a solution to this puzzle. The main tenets of the solution are two. First, the peers ought to engage in a deliberative activity of discovering more about their epistemic position vis-à-vis the issue at stake. Secondly, the (...)
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