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In defense of doxastic blame

Synthese 195 (5):2205-2226 (2018)

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  1. Epistemic Atonement.Elise Woodard - forthcoming - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 18. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    When we think about agents who change a long-standing belief, we sometimes have conflicting reactions. On the one hand, such agents often epistemically improve. For example, their new belief may be better supported by the evidence or closer to the truth. On the other hand, such agents are often subject to criticism. Examples include politicians who change their minds on whether climate change is occurring or whether vaccines cause autism. What explains this criticism, and is it ever justified? To answer (...)
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  • What Do We Want From a Theory of Epistemic Blame?Adam Piovarchy - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):791-805.
    ABSTRACT This paper identifies a number of questions that any plausible theory of epistemic blame ought to answer. What is epistemic blame? When is someone an appropriate target of epistemic blame? And what justifies engaging in epistemic blame? I argue that a number of problems arise when we try to answer these questions by using existing conceptions of moral blame. I then consider and reject Brown’s [2020] belief-desire model of epistemic blame. Finally, I argue that an agency-cultivation model of moral (...)
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  • Standing to Epistemically Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11355-11375.
    A plausible condition on having the standing to blame someone is that the target of blame's wrongdoing must in some sense be your “business”—the wrong must in some sense harm or affect you, or others close to you. This is known as the business condition on standing to blame. Many cases of epistemic blame discussed in the literature do not obviously involve examples of someone harming or affecting another. As such, not enough has been said about how an individual's epistemic (...)
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  • There is a Distinctively Epistemic Kind of Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):518-534.
    Is there a distinctively epistemic kind of blame? It has become commonplace for epistemologists to talk about epistemic blame, and to rely on this notion for theoretical purposes. But not everyone is convinced. Some of the most compelling reasons for skepticism about epistemic blame focus on disanologies, or asymmetries, between the moral and epistemic domains. In this paper, I defend the idea that there is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. I do so primarily by developing an account of the (...)
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  • Epistemically blameworthy belief.Jessica Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3595-3614.
    When subjects violate epistemic standards or norms, we sometimes judge them blameworthy rather than blameless. For instance, we might judge a subject blameworthy for dogmatically continuing to believe a claim even after receiving evidence which undermines it. Indeed, the idea that one may be blameworthy for belief is appealed to throughout the contemporary epistemic literature. In some cases, a subject seems blameworthy for believing as she does even though it seems prima facie implausible that she is morally blameworthy or professionally (...)
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  • The Significance of Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    One challenge in developing an account of the nature of epistemic blame is to explain what differentiates epistemic blame from mere negative epistemic evaluation. The challenge is to explain the difference, without invoking practices or behaviors that seem out of place in the epistemic domain. In this paper, I examine whether the most sophisticated recent account of the nature of epistemic blame—due to Jessica Brown—is up for the challenge. I argue that the account ultimately falls short, but does so in (...)
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  • Against Evidential Minimalism.Daniel Buckley - forthcoming - Episteme:1-20.
    Evidence is often taken to be “normative” for doxastic agents. What accounts for the normativity of evidence? According to the view that I’ll call “evidential minimalism”, there is a close connection between strong evidence for the truth of p and a normative reason to believe p: evidence is either itself a normative reason for belief, or evidence gives rise to such a reason when certain other minimal conditions are met. In this paper, I argue against evidential minimalism. I will argue (...)
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  • Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (8):e12762.
    This paper provides a critical overview of recent work on epistemic blame. The paper identifies key features of the concept of epistemic blame and discusses two ways of motivating the importance of this concept. Four different approaches to the nature of epistemic blame are examined. Central issues surrounding the ethics and value of epistemic blame are identified and briefly explored. In addition to providing an overview of the state of the art of this growing but controversial field, the paper highlights (...)
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  • IX—Equal Opportunity: A Unifying Framework for Moral, Aesthetic, and Epistemic Responsibility.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2020 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 120 (2):203-235.
    On the one hand, there seem to be compelling parallels to moral responsibility, blameworthiness, and praiseworthiness in domains other than the moral. For example, we often praise people for their aesthetic and epistemic achievements and blame them for their failures. On the other hand, it has been argued that there is something special about the moral domain, so that at least one robust kind of responsibility can only be found there. In this paper, I argue that we can adopt a (...)
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  • Epistemic Duty and Implicit Bias.Lindsay Rettler & Bradley Rettler - forthcoming - In Kevin McCain & Scott Stapleford (eds.), Epistemic Duties: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge.
    In this chapter, we explore whether agents have an epistemic duty to eradicate implicit bias. Recent research shows that implicit biases are widespread and they have a wide variety of epistemic effects on our doxastic attitudes. First, we offer some examples and features of implicit biases. Second, we clarify what it means to have an epistemic duty, and discuss the kind of epistemic duties we might have regarding implicit bias. Third, we argue that we have an epistemic duty to eradicate (...)
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  • A social solution to the puzzle of doxastic responsibility: a two-dimensional account of responsibility for belief.Robert Carry Osborne - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9335-9356.
    In virtue of what are we responsible for our beliefs? I argue that doxastic responsibility has a crucial social component: part of being responsible for our beliefs is being responsible to others. I suggest that this responsibility is a form of answerability with two distinct dimensions: an individual and an interpersonal dimension. While most views hold that the individual dimension is grounded in some form of control that we can exercise over our beliefs, I contend that we are answerable for (...)
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  • Cognitive Penetration and Implicit Cognition.Lucas Battich & Ophelia Deroy - forthcoming - In J. Robert Thompson (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Implicit Cognition. Routledge.
    Cognitive states, such as beliefs, desires and intentions, may influence how we perceive people and objects. If this is the case, are those influences worse when they occur implicitly rather than explicitly? Here we show that cognitive penetration in perception generally involves an implicit component. First, the process of influence is implicit, making us unaware that our perception is misrepresenting the world. This lack of awareness is the source of the epistemic threat raised by cognitive penetration. Second, the influencing state (...)
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  • The Rationality of Eating Disorders.Stephen Gadsby - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Sufferers of eating disorders often hold false beliefs about their own body size. Such beliefs appear to violate norms of epistemic rationality, being neither grounded by nor responsive to appropriate forms of evidence. Contrary to appearances, I defend the rationality of these beliefs. I argue that they are in fact grounded in and reinforced by appropriate evidence, emanating from proprioceptive misperception of bodily boundaries. This argument has far-reaching implications for the explanation and treatment of eating disorders, as well as debates (...)
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  • Beyond Bad Beliefs.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (5):500-521.
    Philosophers have recently come to focus on explaining the phenomenon of ​bad beliefs,​ beliefs that are apparently true and well-evidenced but nevertheless objectionable. Despite this recent focus, a consensus is already forming around a particular explanation of these beliefs’ badness called ​moral encroachment​, according to which, roughly, the moral stakes engendered by bad beliefs make them particularly difficult to justify. This paper advances an alternative account not just of bad beliefs but of bad attitudes more generally according to which bad (...)
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  • A social solution to the puzzle of doxastic responsibility: a two-dimensional account of responsibility for belief.Robert Carry Osborne - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9335-9356.
    In virtue of what are we responsible for our beliefs? I argue that doxastic responsibility has a crucial social component: part of being responsible for our beliefs is being responsible to others. I suggest that this responsibility is a form of answerability with two distinct dimensions: an individual and an interpersonal dimension. While most views hold that the individual dimension is grounded in some form of control that we can exercise over our beliefs, I contend that we are answerable for (...)
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  • Conceptual Responsibility.Trystan S. Goetze - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):20-45.
    Conceptual engineering is concerned with the improvement of our concepts. The motivating thought behind many such projects is that some of our concepts are defective. But, if to use a defective concept is to do something wrong, and if to do something wrong one must be in control of what one is doing, there might be no defective concepts, since we typically are not in control of our concept use. To address this problem, this paper turns from appraising the concepts (...)
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  • Epistemic Judgement and Motivation.Cameron Boult & Sebastian Köhler - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):738-758.
    Is there an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism? The answer to this question has implications for our understanding of the nature of epistemic normativity. For example, some philosophers have argued from claims that epistemic judgement is not necessarily motivating to the view that epistemic judgement is not normative. This paper examines the options for spelling out an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism. It is argued that the most promising approach connects epistemic judgements to doxastic dispositions, which are related (...)
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  • Self-Control in Action and Belief.Martina Orlandi & Sarah Stroud - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (2):225-242.
    Self-control is normally, if only tacitly, viewed as an inherently practical capacity or achievement: as exercised only in the domain of action. Questioning this assumption, we wish to motivate the...
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  • Faith, Belief, and Control.Lindsay Rettler - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):95-109.
    In this paper, I solve a puzzle generated by three conflicting claims about the relationship between faith, belief, and control: according to the Identity Thesis, faith is a type of belief, and according to Fideistic Voluntarism, we sometimes have control over whether or not we have faith, but according to Doxastic Involuntarism, we never have control over what we believe. To solve the puzzle, I argue that the Identity Thesis is true, but that either Fideistic Voluntarism or Doxastic Voluntarism is (...)
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  • Harms and Wrongs in Epistemic Practice.Simon Barker, Charlie Crerar & Trystan S. Goetze - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84:1-21.
    This volume has its roots in two recent developments within mainstream analytic epistemology: a growing recognition over the past two or three decades of the active and social nature of our epistemic lives; and, more recently still, the increasing appreciation of the various ways in which the epistemic practices of individuals and societies can, and often do, go wrong. The theoretical analysis of these breakdowns in epistemic practice, along with the various harms and wrongs that follow as a consequence, constitutes (...)
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