Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters

Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496 (2019)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that epistemologists should pay attention to whether they are framing questions in terms of belief or in terms of credence and the success or failure of a reductionist project in the belief-credence realm has significant implications for epistemology generally.

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Elizabeth Jackson
Ryerson University

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