Hope, Worry, and Suspension of Judgment

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (8):573-587 (2021)
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Abstract

In this paper, I defend an epistemic requirement on fitting hopes and worries: it is fitting to hope or to worry that p only if one’s epistemic position makes it rational to suspend judgment as to whether p. This view, unlike prominent alternatives, is ecumenical; it retains its plausibility against a variety of different background views of epistemology. It also has other important theoretical virtues: it is illuminating, elegant, and extensionally adequate. Fallibilists about knowledge have special reason to be friendly to my view; it can help them explain why it can be unfitting to hold on to hope and worry in the face of overwhelming evidence, and it can also help them explain the sense in which knowledge that p and hope that –p are in tension with one another.

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James Fritz
Virginia Commonwealth University

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