In Defense of the Epistemic Imperative

Axiomathes 28 (4):435-446 (2018)
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Sample (2015) argues that scientists ought not to believe that their theories are true because they cannot fulfill the epistemic obligation to take the diachronic perspective on their theories. I reply that Sample’s argument imposes an inordinately heavy epistemic obligation on scientists, and that it spells doom not only for scientific theories but also for observational beliefs and philosophical ideas that Samples endorses. I also delineate what I take to be a reasonable epistemic obligation for scientists. In sum, philosophers ought to impose on scientists only an epistemic standard that they are willing to impose on themselves.
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First archival date: 2018-03-03
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