The Psychology of Epistemic Judgment

In Sarah K. Robins, John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology, 2nd Edition (forthcoming)
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Abstract
Human social intelligence includes a remarkable power to evaluate what people know and believe, and to assess the quality of well- or ill-formed beliefs. Epistemic evaluations emerge in a great variety of contexts, from moments of deliberate private reflection on tough theoretical questions, to casual social observations about what other people know and think. We seem to be able to draw systematic lines between knowledge and mere belief, to distinguish justified and unjustified beliefs, and to recognize some beliefs as delusional or irrational. This article outlines the main types of epistemic evaluations, and examines how our capacities to perform these evaluations develop, how they function at maturity, and how they are deployed in the vital task of sorting out when to believe what others say.
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