What do we epistemically owe to each other? A reply to Basu

Philosophical Studies:1-18 (forthcoming)
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Abstract
What, if anything, do we epistemically owe to each other? Various “traditional” views of epistemology might hold either that we don’t epistemically owe anything to each other, because “what we owe to each other” is the realm of the moral, or that what we epistemically owe to each other is just to be epistemically responsible agents. Basu (2019) has recently argued, against such views, that morality makes extra-epistemic demands upon what we should believe about one another. So, what we owe to each other is not just a matter of word and deed, but also of belief. And in fact, Basu argues, sometimes those moral demands require us to believe in ways that cut against orthodox epistemic norms. This paper has three aims. First, to offer two strategies for accommodating the kinds of cases Basu discusses while nonetheless holding that only epistemic normativity makes demands on belief. Second, to offer an alternative account of what we owe to each other that does not hold that morality demands that we sometimes believe against our evidence or in violation of epistemic norms. And third, to give a brief diagnosis of why it seems intuitive that morality makes extra-epistemic doxastic demands on us. Ultimately, I argue that what we epistemically owe to each other does not require us to violate orthodox, invariantist epistemic norms. Morality demands that we have a proper regard for others, not that we sometimes believe against our evidence.
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Archival date: 2020-05-19
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