Belief Norms & Blindspots

Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):243-269 (2013)
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I defend the thesis that beliefs are constitutively normative from two kinds of objection. After clarifying what a “blindspot” proposition is and the different types of blindspots there can be, I show that the existence of such propositions does not undermine the thesis that beliefs are essentially governed by a negative truth norm. I argue that the “normative variance” exhibited by this norm is not a defect. I also argue that if we accept a distinction between subjective and objective norms there need be no worrying tension between doxastic norms of truth and doxastic norms of evidence. I show how a similar approach applies to the attitude of guessing. I then suggest that if we distinguish between practical and theoretical rationality, we will prefer a negative form of norm that does not positively oblige us to form beliefs. I finish by considering an alternative possible subjunctive form of norm that would also avoid problems with blindspots but suggest this has a non-intuitive consequence.
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Knowledge and its Limits.Williamson, Timothy
Doxastic Deliberation.Shah, Nishi & David Velleman, J.
Without Justification.Sutton, Jonathan
The Aim of Belief.Wedgwood, Ralph

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