Irrelevant Influences

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
We often hear such casual accusations: you just believe that because you are a liberal, a Christian, an American, a woman… When such charges are made they are meant to sting—not just emotionally, but epistemically. But should they? It can be disturbing to learn that one's beliefs reflect the influence of such irrelevant factors. The pervasiveness of such influence has led some to worry that we are not justified in many of our beliefs. That same pervasiveness has led others to doubt whether there is any worry here at all. I argue that evidence of irrelevant belief influence is sometimes, but not always, undermining. My proposal picks out ordinary, non-skeptical cases in which we get evidence of error. It says that, in those cases, evidence of irrelevant influence is epistemically significant. It shows how respecting evidence of error is compatible with the epistemic lives we see ourselves living. We are fallible creatures, yes, but we are also capable and intelligent ones. We can recognize and correct for our own error so as to improve our imperfect, yet nevertheless robust, epistemic lives.
Reprint years
2018
PhilPapers/Archive ID
VAVII
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-05-05
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-05-05

Total downloads
347 ( #7,038 of 37,122 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
80 ( #4,075 of 37,122 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.