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Belief, Credence, and Evidence

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  1. The Lottery Paradox, Knowledge, and Rationality.Dana K. Nelkin - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (3):373-409.
    Jim buys a ticket in a million-ticket lottery. He knows it is a fair lottery, but, given the odds, he believes he will lose. When the winning ticket is chosen, it is not his. Did he know his ticket would lose? It seems that he did not. After all, if he knew his ticket would lose, why would he have bought it? Further, if he knew his ticket would lose, then, given that his ticket is no different in its chances (...)
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  • Knowledge in an Uncertain World.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Introduction -- Fallibilism -- Contextualism -- Knowledge and reasons -- Justification -- Belief -- The value and importance of knowledge -- Infallibilism or pragmatic encroachment? -- Appendix I: Conflicts with bayesian decision theory? -- Appendix II: Does KJ entail infallibilism?
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  • From Contextualism to Contrastivism.Jonathan Schaffer - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):73-104.
    Contextualism treats ‘knows’ as an indexical that denotes different epistemic properties in different contexts. Contrastivism treats ‘knows’ as denoting a ternary relation with a slot for a contrast proposition. I will argue that contrastivism resolves the main philosophical problems of contextualism, by employing a better linguistic model. Contextualist insights are best understood by contrastivist theory.
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  • Common Ground.Robert Stalnaker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):701-721.
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  • The Rational Impermissibility of Accepting (Some) Racial Generalizations.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2415-2431.
    I argue that inferences from highly probabilifying racial generalizations are not solely objectionable because acting on such inferences would be problematic, or they violate a moral norm, but because they violate a distinctively epistemic norm. They involve accepting a proposition when, given the costs of a mistake, one is not adequately justified in doing so. First I sketch an account of the nature of adequate justification—practical adequacy with respect to eliminating the ~p possibilities from one’s epistemic statespace. Second, I argue (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
    There are currently two robust traditions in philosophy dealing with doxastic attitudes: the tradition that is concerned primarily with all-or-nothing belief, and the tradition that is concerned primarily with degree of belief or credence. This paper concerns the relationship between belief and credence for a rational agent, and is directed at those who may have hoped that the notion of belief can either be reduced to credence or eliminated altogether when characterizing the norms governing ideally rational agents. It presents a (...)
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  • Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
    In this companion volume to Warrant: The Current Debate, Plantinga develops an original approach to the question of epistemic warrant; that is what turns true belief into knowledge. He argues that what is crucial to warrant is the proper functioning of one's cognitive faculties in the right kind of cognitive environment.
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  • Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
    David Lewis (1941-2001) was Class of 1943 University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His contributions spanned philosophical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology. In On the Plurality of Worlds, he defended his challenging metaphysical position, "modal realism." He was also the author of the books Convention, Counterfactuals, Parts of Classes, and several volumes of collected papers.
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  • Statistical Evidence, Sensitivity, and the Legal Value of Knowledge.David Enoch, Levi Spectre & Talia Fisher - 2012 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 40 (3):197-224.
    The law views with suspicion statistical evidence, even evidence that is probabilistically on a par with direct, individual evidence that the law is in no way suspicious of. But it has proved remarkably hard to either justify this suspicion, or to debunk it. In this paper, we connect the discussion of statistical evidence to broader epistemological discussions of similar phenomena. We highlight Sensitivity – the requirement that a belief be counterfactually sensitive to the truth in a specific way – as (...)
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  • The Fixation of Belief and Its Undoing: Changing Beliefs Through Inquiry by Isaac Levi. [REVIEW]Philip Kitcher - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (8):425-432.
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  • The Logic of Decision.Frederic Schick - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (12):396-400.
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  • Review Essay: Working Without a Net: A Study of Egocentric EpistemologyWorking Without a Net: A Study of Egocentric Epistemology.Marian David & Richard Foley - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (4):943.
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  • Putting Logic in its Place: Formal Constraints on Rational Belief.David Christensen - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    What role, if any, does formal logic play in characterizing epistemically rational belief? Traditionally, belief is seen in a binary way - either one believes a proposition, or one doesn't. Given this picture, it is attractive to impose certain deductive constraints on rational belief: that one's beliefs be logically consistent, and that one believe the logical consequences of one's beliefs. A less popular picture sees belief as a graded phenomenon.
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  • Belief Is Credence One (in Context).Roger Clarke - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-18.
    This paper argues for two theses: that degrees of belief are context sensitive; that outright belief is belief to degree 1. The latter thesis is rejected quickly in most discussions of the relationship between credence and belief, but the former thesis undermines the usual reasons for doing so. Furthermore, identifying belief with credence 1 allows nice solutions to a number of problems for the most widely-held view of the relationship between credence and belief, the threshold view. I provide a sketch (...)
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  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Probability 1.Daniel Greco - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):179-201.
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  • The Fixation of Belief and its Undoing: Changing Beliefs Through Inquiry.Isaac Levi - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
    Isaac Levi's new book is concerned with how one can justify changing one's beliefs. The discussion is deeply informed by the belief-doubt model advocated by C. S. Peirce and John Dewey, of which the book provides a substantial analysis. Professor Levi then addresses the conceptual framework of potential changes available to an inquirer. A structural approach to propositional attitudes is proposed, which rejects the conventional view that a propositional attitude involves a relation between an agent and either a linguistic entity (...)
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  • When Does Evidence Suffice for Conviction?Martin Smith - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1193-1218.
    There is something puzzling about statistical evidence. One place this manifests is in the law, where courts are reluctant to base affirmative verdicts on evidence that is purely statistical, in spite of the fact that it is perfectly capable of meeting the standards of proof enshrined in legal doctrine. After surveying some proposed explanations for this, I shall outline a new approach – one that makes use of a notion of normalcy that is distinct from the idea of statistical frequency. (...)
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  • Intention as a Model for Belief.Richard Holton - 2014 - In Manuel Vargas & Gideon Yaffe (eds.), Rational and Social Agency: Essays on the Philosophy of Michael Bratman. Oxford University Press.
    This paper argues that a popular account of intentions can be extended to beliefs. Beliefs are stable all-out states that allow for planning and coordination in a way that is tractable for cognitively limited creatures like human beings. Scepticism is expressed that there is really anything like credences as standardly understood.
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  • Beliefs Do Not Come in Degrees.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):760-778.
    Philosophers commonly say that beliefs come in degrees. Drawing from the literature, I make precise three arguments for this claim: an argument from degrees of confidence, an argument from degrees of firmness, and an argument from natural language. I show that they all fail. I also advance three arguments that beliefs do not come in degrees: an argument from natural language, an argument from intuition, and an argument from the metaphysics of degrees. On the basis of these arguments, I conclude (...)
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  • Can We Do Without Pragmatic Encroachment.Brian Weatherson - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):417–443.
    I consider the problem of how to derive what an agent believes from their credence function and utility function. I argue the best solution of this problem is pragmatic, i.e. it is sensitive to the kinds of choices actually facing the agent. I further argue that this explains why our notion of justified belief appears to be pragmatic, as is argued e.g. by Fantl and McGrath. The notion of epistemic justification is not really a pragmatic notion, but it is being (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (2):153-168.
    In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
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  • Games, Beliefs and Credences.Brian Weatherson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):209-236.
    In previous work I’ve defended an interest-relative theory of belief. This paper continues the defence. It has four aims. -/- 1. To offer a new kind of reason for being unsatis ed with the simple Lockean reduction of belief to credence. 2. To defend the legitimacy of appealing to credences in a theory of belief. 3. To illustrate the importance of theoretical, as well as practical, interests in an interest-relative account of belief. 4. To revise my account to cover propositions (...)
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  • The Nature of Doubt and a New Puzzle About Belief, Doubt, and Confidence.Andrew Moon - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1827-1848.
    In this paper, I present and defend a novel account of doubt. In Part 1, I make some preliminary observations about the nature of doubt. In Part 2, I introduce a new puzzle about the relationship between three psychological states: doubt, belief, and confidence. I present this puzzle because my account of doubt emerges as a possible solution to it. Lastly, in Part 3, I elaborate on and defend my account of doubt. Roughly, one has doubt if and only if (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
    This paper compares two alternative explanations of pragmatic encroachment on knowledge (i.e., the claim that whether an agent knows that p can depend on pragmatic factors). After reviewing the evidence for such pragmatic encroachment, we ask how it is best explained, assuming it obtains. Several authors have recently argued that the best explanation is provided by a particular account of belief, which we call pragmatic credal reductivism. On this view, what it is for an agent to believe a proposition is (...)
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  • Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
    In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that epistemologists should pay attention (...)
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  • Is It a Crime to Belong to a Reference Class.Mark Colyvan, Helen M. Regan & Scott Ferson - 2001 - Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (2):168–181.
    ON DECEMBER 10, 1991 Charles Shonubi, a Nigerian citizen but a resident of the USA, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for the importation of heroin into the United States.1 Shonubi's modus operandi was ``balloon swallowing.'' That is, heroin was mixed with another substance to form a paste and this paste was sealed in balloons which were then swallowed. The idea was that once the illegal substance was safely inside the USA, the smuggler would pass the balloons and (...)
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  • Normalcy, Justification, and the Easy-Defeat Problem.Marvin Backes - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2877-2895.
    Recent years have seen the rise of a new family of non-probabilistic accounts of epistemic justification. According to these views—we may call them Normalcy Views—a belief in P is justified only if, given the evidence, there exists no normal world in which S falsely beliefs that P. This paper aims to raise some trouble for this new approach to justification by arguing that Normalcy Views, while initially attractive, give rise to problematic accounts of epistemic defeat. As we will see, on (...)
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  • Outright Belief.Ralph Wedgwood - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (3):309–329.
    Sometimes, we think of belief as a phenomenon that comes in degrees – that is, in the many different levels of confidence that a thinker might have in various different propositions. Sometimes, we think of belief as a simple two-place relation that holds between a thinker and a proposition – that is, as what I shall here call "outright belief".
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  • Decision Theory as Philosophy.Mark Kaplan - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (192):406-408.
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
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  • The Normative Role of Knowledge.Declan Smithies - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):265-288.
    What is the normative role of knowledge? I argue that knowledge plays an important role as a norm of assertion and action, which is explained and unified by its more fundamental role as a norm of belief. Moreover, I propose a distinctive account of what this normative role consists in. I argue that knowledge is the aim of belief, which sets a normative standard of correctness and a corresponding normative standard of justification. According to my proposal, it is correct to (...)
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  • Lotteries and Justification.Christoph Kelp - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1233-1244.
    The lottery paradox shows that the following three individually highly plausible theses are jointly incompatible: highly probable propositions are justifiably believable, justified believability is closed under conjunction introduction, known contradictions are not justifiably believable. This paper argues that a satisfactory solution to the lottery paradox must reject as versions of the paradox can be generated without appeal to either or and proposes a new solution to the paradox in terms of a novel account of justified believability.
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  • Trial by Statistics: Is a High Probability of Guilt Enough to Convict?Marcello Di Bello - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1045-1084.
    Suppose one hundred prisoners are in a yard under the supervision of a guard, and at some point, ninety-nine of them collectively kill the guard. If, after the fact, a prisoner is picked at random and tried, the probability of his guilt is 99%. But despite the high probability, the statistical chances, by themselves, seem insufficient to justify a conviction. The question is why. Two arguments are offered. The first, decision-theoretic argument shows that a conviction solely based on the statistics (...)
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  • Propositional Reasoning That Tracks Probabilistic Reasoning.Hanti Lin & Kevin Kelly - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (6):957-981.
    This paper concerns the extent to which uncertain propositional reasoning can track probabilistic reasoning, and addresses kinematic problems that extend the familiar Lottery paradox. An acceptance rule assigns to each Bayesian credal state p a propositional belief revision method B p , which specifies an initial belief state B p (T) that is revised to the new propositional belief state B(E) upon receipt of information E. An acceptance rule tracks Bayesian conditioning when B p (E) = B p|E (T), for (...)
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  • What is "Real" in Probabilism?H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):573-587.
    This paper defends two related claims about belief. First, the claim that unlike numerical degrees of belief, comparative beliefs are primitive and psychologically real. Second, the claim that the fundamental norm of Probabilism is not that numerical degrees of belief should satisfy the probability axioms, but rather that comparative beliefs should satisfy certain constraints.
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  • The Decision-Theoretic Lockean Thesis.Dustin Troy Locke - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):28-54.
    Certain philosophers maintain that there is a ‘constitutive threshold for belief’: to believe that p just is to have a degree of confidence that p above a certain threshold. On the basis of this view, these philosophers defend what is known as ‘the Lockean Thesis ’, according to which it is rational to believe that p just in case it is rational to have a degree of confidence that p above the constitutive threshold for belief. While not directly speaking to (...)
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  • How Do Beliefs Simplify Reasoning?Julia Staffel - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):937-962.
    According to an increasingly popular epistemological view, people need outright beliefs in addition to credences to simplify their reasoning. Outright beliefs simplify reasoning by allowing thinkers to ignore small error probabilities. What is outright believed can change between contexts. It has been claimed that thinkers manage shifts in their outright beliefs and credences across contexts by an updating procedure resembling conditionalization, which I call pseudo-conditionalization (PC). But conditionalization is notoriously complicated. The claim that thinkers manage their beliefs via PC is (...)
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  • Working Without a Net: A Study of Egocentric Epistemology.Richard Foley - 1998 - Noûs 32 (2):265-275.
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  • Beliefs, Buses and Lotteries: Why Rational Belief Can’T Be Stably High Credence.Julia Staffel - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1721-1734.
    Until recently, it seemed like no theory about the relationship between rational credence and rational outright belief could reconcile three independently plausible assumptions: that our beliefs should be logically consistent, that our degrees of belief should be probabilistic, and that a rational agent believes something just in case she is sufficiently confident in it. Recently a new formal framework has been proposed that can accommodate these three assumptions, which is known as “the stability theory of belief” or “high probability cores.” (...)
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  • Belief and Certainty.Dylan Dodd - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4597-4621.
    I argue that believing that p implies having a credence of 1 in p. This is true because the belief that p involves representing p as being the case, representing p as being the case involves not allowing for the possibility of not-p, while having a credence that’s greater than 0 in not-p involves regarding not-p as a possibility.
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.R. Foley - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):718-726.
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  • Probability and the Logic of Rational Belief.Peter Krauss - 1961 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 35 (1):127.
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  • The Fixation of Belief and its Undoing: Changing Beliefs Through Inquiry.Alan Hajek - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (1):166.
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  • Belief's Own Ethics.[author unknown] - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):269-272.
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  • Belief in a Fallen World.Robert Pasnau - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (3):531-559.
    In an ideal epistemic world, our beliefs would correspond to our evidence, and our evidence would be bountiful. In the world we live in, however, if we wish to live meaningful lives, other epistemic strategies are necessary. Here I attempt to work out, systematically, the ways in which evidentialism fails us as a guide to belief. This is so preeminently for lives of a religious character, but the point applies more broadly.
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  • Troubles for Bayesian Formal Epistemology.Terry Horgan - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (2):233-255.
    I raise skeptical doubts about the prospects of Bayesian formal epistemology for providing an adequate general normative model of epistemic rationality. The notion of credence, I argue, embodies a very dubious psychological myth, viz., that for virtually any proposition p that one can entertain and understand, one has some quantitatively precise, 0-to-1 ratio-scale, doxastic attitude toward p. The concept of credence faces further serious problems as well—different ones depending on whether credence 1 is construed as full belief or instead is (...)
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  • Foundations of Everyday Practical Reasoning.Hanti Lin - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (6):831-862.
    “Since today is Saturday, the grocery store is open today and will be closed tomorrow; so let’s go today”. That is an example of everyday practical reasoning—reasoning directly with the propositions that one believes but may not be fully certain of. Everyday practical reasoning is one of our most familiar kinds of decisions but, unfortunately, some foundational questions about it are largely ignored in the standard decision theory: (Q1) What are the decision rules in everyday practical reasoning that connect qualitative (...)
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
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  • What Are Degrees of Belief.Lina Eriksson & Alan Hájek - 2007 - Studia Logica 86 (2):185-215.
    Probabilism is committed to two theses: 1) Opinion comes in degrees—call them degrees of belief, or credences. 2) The degrees of belief of a rational agent obey the probability calculus. Correspondingly, a natural way to argue for probabilism is: i) to give an account of what degrees of belief are, and then ii) to show that those things should be probabilities, on pain of irrationality. Most of the action in the literature concerns stage ii). Assuming that stage i) has been (...)
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  • Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
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