Friendship and epistemic norms

Philosophical Studies 165 (2):349-370 (2013)
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Abstract
Simon Keller and Sarah Stroud have both argued that the demands of being a good friend can conflict with the demands of standard epistemic norms. Intuitively, good friends will tend to seek favorable interpretations of their friends’ behaviors, interpretations that they would not apply to strangers; as such they seem prone to form unjustified beliefs. I argue that there is no such clash of norms. In particular, I argue that friendship does not require us to form beliefs about our friends in the biased fashion suggested by Stroud and Keller. I further argue that while some slight bias in belief-formation might be permitted by friendship, any such bias would fall within the bounds of epistemic propriety.
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