Evidence and its Limits

In Conor McHugh Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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On a standard view about reasons, evidence, and justification, there is justification for you to believe all and only what your evidence supports and the reasons that determine whether there is justification to believe are all just pieces of evidence. This view is mistaken about two things. It is mistaken about the rational role of evidence. It is also mistaken about the rational role of reasons. To show this, I present two basis problems for the standard view and argue that it lacks the resources to solve these problems. It is easy to spot these mistakes once we are clear on the ontology of reasons and have a better understanding of the role that belief plays in the theory of possessed evidence. After attacking the standard view, I offer an alternative account of justification. On this view, the justificatory status of a belief is not a function of the reasons/evidence on which it is based (it might not be based on any) but is instead a function of the basis that it can provide.
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Archival date: 2015-10-30
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