The Problem of Respecting Higher-Order Doubt

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, then one is not justified in having any attitude towards P. Otherwise put: No attitude towards the doubted proposition respects one’s higher-order doubt. I argue that the most promising response to this problem is to hold that when one has a higher-order doubt about P, the best one can do to respect such a doubt is to simply have no attitude towards P. Higher-order doubt is thus much more rationally corrosive than non-higher-order doubt, as it undermines the possibility of justifiably having any attitude towards the doubted proposition.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ALETPO-9
Revision history
Archival date: 2013-05-06
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Higher-Order Evidence.Christensen, David
Suspended Judgment.Friedman, Jane
Evidentialism.Feldman, Richard & Conee, Earl

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2013-05-07

Total views
472 ( #6,080 of 41,654 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
28 ( #21,180 of 41,654 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.