44 found
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  1. Belief, Credence, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5073-5092.
    I explore how rational belief and rational credence relate to evidence. I begin by looking at three cases where rational belief and credence seem to respond differently to evidence: cases of naked statistical evidence, lotteries, and hedged assertions. I consider an explanation for these cases, namely, that one ought not form beliefs on the basis of statistical evidence alone, and raise worries for this view. Then, I suggest another view that explains how belief and credence relate to evidence. My view (...)
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  2. Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Grace 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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  3. A Permissivist Defense of Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Grace Jackson - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (6):2315-2340.
    Epistemic permissivism is the thesis that the evidence can rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. Pascal’s wager is the idea that one ought to believe in God for practical reasons, because of what one can gain if theism is true and what one has to lose if theism is false. In this paper, I argue that if epistemic permissivism is true, then the defender of Pascal’s wager has powerful responses to two prominent objections. First, I argue that (...)
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  4. How Belief-Credence Dualism Explains Away Pragmatic Encroachment.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):511-533.
    Belief-credence dualism is the view that we have both beliefs and credences and neither attitude is reducible to the other. Pragmatic encroachment is the view that practical stakes can affect the epistemic rationality of states like knowledge or justified belief. In this paper, I argue that dualism offers a unique explanation of pragmatic encroachment cases. First, I explain pragmatic encroachment and what motivates it. Then, I explain dualism and outline a particular argument for dualism. Finally, I show how dualism can (...)
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  5. The Relationship Between Belief and Credence.Elizabeth G. Jackson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6):1–13.
    Sometimes epistemologists theorize about belief, a tripartite attitude on which one can believe, withhold belief, or disbelieve a proposition. In other cases, epistemologists theorize about credence, a fine-grained attitude that represents one’s subjective probability or confidence level toward a proposition. How do these two attitudes relate to each other? This article explores the relationship between belief and credence in two categories: descriptive and normative. It then explains the broader significance of the belief-credence connection and concludes with general lessons from the (...)
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  6. Why Credences Are Not Beliefs.Elizabeth Jackson - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):360-370.
    A question of recent interest in epistemology and philosophy of mind is how belief and credence relate to each other. A number of philosophers argue for a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On the belief-first view, what it is to have a credence just is to have a particular kind of belief, that is, a belief whose content involves probabilities or epistemic modals. Here, I argue against the belief-first view: specifically, I argue that it cannot account (...)
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  7. A Defense of Intrapersonal Belief Permissivism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Episteme 18 (2):313–327.
    Permissivism is the view that there are evidential situations that rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. In this paper, I argue for Intrapersonal Belief Permissivism (IaBP): that there are evidential situations in which a single agent can rationally adopt more than one belief-attitude toward a proposition. I give two positive arguments for IaBP; the first involves epistemic supererogation and the second involves doubt. Then, I should how these arguments give intrapersonal permissivists a distinct response to the toggling (...)
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  8. Permissivism, Underdetermination, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson & Margaret Greta Turnbull - 2024 - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 358–370.
    Permissivism is the thesis that, for some body of evidence and a proposition p, there is more than one rational doxastic attitude any agent with that evidence can take toward p. Proponents of uniqueness deny permissivism, maintaining that every body of evidence always determines a single rational doxastic attitude. In this paper, we explore the debate between permissivism and uniqueness about evidence, outlining some of the major arguments on each side. We then consider how permissivism can be understood as an (...)
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  9. Faith: Contemporary Perspectives.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Faith is a trusting commitment to someone or something. Faith helps us meet our goals, keeps our relationships secure, and enables us to retain our commitments over time. Faith is thus a central part of a flourishing life. -/- This article is about the philosophy of faith. There are many philosophical questions about faith, such as: What is faith? What are its main components or features? What are the different kinds of faith? What is the relationship between faith and other (...)
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  10. Belief, Faith, and Hope: On the Rationality of Long-Term Commitment.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Mind 130 (517):35–57.
    I examine three attitudes: belief, faith, and hope. I argue that all three attitudes play the same role in rationalizing action. First, I explain two models of rational action—the decision-theory model and the belief-desire model. Both models entail there are two components of rational action: an epistemic component and a conative component. Then, using this framework, I show how belief, faith, and hope that p can all make it rational to accept, or act as if, p. I conclude by showing (...)
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  11. On the Independence of Belief and Credence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2022 - Philosophical Issues 32 (1):9-31.
    Much of the literature on the relationship between belief and credence has focused on the reduction question: that is, whether either belief or credence reduces to the other. This debate, while important, only scratches the surface of the belief-credence connection. Even on the anti-reductive dualist view, belief and credence could still be very tightly connected. Here, I explore questions about the belief-credence connection that go beyond reduction. This paper is dedicated to what I call the independence question: just how independent (...)
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  12. Doxastic Voluntarism.Mark Boespflug & Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Doxastic voluntarism is the thesis that our beliefs are subject to voluntary control. While there’s some controversy as to what “voluntary control” amounts to (see 1.2), it’s often understood as direct control: the ability to bring about a state of affairs “just like that,” without having to do anything else. Most of us have direct control over, for instance, bringing to mind an image of a pine tree. Can one, in like fashion, voluntarily bring it about that one believes a (...)
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  13. Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.
    This paper explains and defends a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On this view, credences are a species of beliefs, and the degree of credence is determined by the content of what is believed. We begin by developing what we take to be the most plausible belief-first view. Then, we offer several arguments for it. Finally, we show how it can resist objections that have been raised to belief-first views. We conclude that the belief-first view is (...)
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  14. Belief, Credence, and Moral Encroachment.Elizabeth Jackson & James Fritz - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1387–1408.
    Radical moral encroachment is the view that belief itself is morally evaluable, and that some moral properties of belief itself make a difference to epistemic rationality. To date, almost all proponents of radical moral encroachment hold to an asymmetry thesis: the moral encroaches on rational belief, but not on rational credence. In this paper, we argue against the asymmetry thesis; we show that, insofar as one accepts the most prominent arguments for radical moral encroachment on belief, one should likewise accept (...)
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  15. Faithfully Taking Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - The Monist 106 (1):35–45.
    I examine the relationship between taking Pascal’s wager, faith, and hope. First, I argue that many who take Pascal’s wager have genuine faith that God exists. The person of faith and the wagerer have several things in common, including a commitment to God and positive cognitive and conative attitudes toward God’s existence. If one’s credences in theism are too low to have faith, I argue that the wagerer can still hope that God exists, another commitment-justifying theological virtue. I conclude with (...)
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  16. Pragmatic Arguments for Theism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - In John Greco, Tyler Dalton McNabb & Jonathan Fuqua (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Religious Epistemology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 70–82.
    Traditional theistic arguments conclude that God exists. Pragmatic theistic arguments, by contrast, conclude that you ought to believe in God. The two most famous pragmatic theistic arguments are put forth by Blaise Pascal (1662) and William James (1896). Pragmatic arguments for theism can be summarized as follows: believing in God has significant benefits, and these benefits aren’t available for the unbeliever. Thus, you should believe in, or ‘wager on’, God. This article distinguishes between various kinds of theistic wagers, including finite (...)
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  17. 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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  18. Teaching & Learning Guide for: The Relationship Between Belief and Credence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6):e12670.
    This guide accompanies the following article(s): Jackson, E., Philosophy Compass 15/6 (2020) pp. 1-13 10.1111/phc3.12668.x.
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  19. Salvaging Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson & Andrew Rogers - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (1):59-84.
    Many think that Pascal’s Wager is a hopeless failure. A primary reason for this is because a number of challenging objections have been raised to the wager, including the “many gods” objection and the “mixed strategy” objection. We argue that both objections are formal, but not substantive, problems for the wager, and that they both fail for the same reason. We then respond to additional objections to the wager. We show how a version of Pascalian reasoning succeeds, giving us a (...)
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  20. Credence: A Belief-First Approach – Erratum.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):315-315.
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  21. A Defense of Belief-Credence Dualism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2018 - In João Luis Pereira Ourique (ed.), Proceedings of the Fifth Conference of the Brazilian Society of Analytic Philosophy. Pelotas, Brazil: pp. 77-78.
    I defend belief-credence dualism, the view that we have both beliefs and credences and both attitudes are equally fundamental. First, I explain belief, credence, and three views on their relationship. Then, I argue for dualism. I do so first by painting a picture of the mind on which belief and credence are two cognitive tools that we use for different purposes. Finally, I respond to two objections to dualism. I conclude that dualism is a promising view, and one that both (...)
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  22.  89
    Permissivist Evidentialism.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Scott Stapleford, Kevin McCain & Matthias Steup (eds.), Evidentialism at 40: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge.
    Many evidentialists are impermissivists. But there’s no in-principle reason for this. In this paper, I examine and motivate permissivist evidentialism. Not only are permissivism and evidentialism compatible but there are unique benefits that arise for this combination of views. In particular, permissivist evidentialism respects the importance of evidence while capturing its limitations and provides a plausible and attractive explanation of the relationship between the epistemic and non-epistemic. Permissivist evidentialism is thus an attractive option in logical space that hasn’t received enough (...)
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  23. Epistemic Akrasia and Belief‐Credence Dualism.Elizabeth Jackson & Peter Tan - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):717–727.
    We call attention to certain cases of epistemic akrasia, arguing that they support belief-credence dualism. Belief-credence dualism is the view that belief and credence are irreducible, equally fundamental attitudes. Consider the case of an agent who believes p, has low credence in p, and thus believes that they shouldn’t believe p. We argue that dualists, as opposed to belief-firsters (who say credence reduces to belief) and credence-firsters (who say belief reduces to credence) can best explain features of akratic cases, including (...)
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  24. How Low Can You Go? A Defense of Believing Philosophical Theories.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Mark Walker & Sanford Goldberg (eds.), Philosophy with Attitude. OUP.
    What attitude should philosophers take toward their favorite philosophical theories? I argue that the answer is belief and middling to low credence. I begin by discussing why disagreement has motivated the view that we cannot rationally believe our philosophical theories. Then, I show why considerations from disagreement actually better support my view. I provide two additional arguments for my view: the first concerns roles for belief and credence and the second explains why believing one’s philosophical theories is superior to accepting (...)
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  25. Settling the Unsettled: Roles for Belief.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):359-368.
    In Unsettled Thoughts, Julia Staffel argues that non-ideal thinkers should seek to approximate ideal Bayesian rationality. She argues that the more rational you are, the more benefits of rationality you will enjoy. After summarizing Staffel's main results, this paper looks more closely at two issues that arise later in the book: the relationship between Bayesian rationality and other kinds of rationality, and the role that outright belief plays in addition to credence. Ultimately, I argue that there are several roles that (...)
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  26. Pascalian Expectations and Explorations.Alan Hajek & Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Roger Ariew & Yuval Avnur (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Pascal. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Pascal’s Wager involves expected utilities. In this chapter, we examine the Wager in light of two main features of expected utility theory: utilities and probabilities. We discuss infinite and finite utilities, and zero, infinitesimal, extremely low, imprecise, and undefined probabilities. These have all come up in recent literature regarding Pascal’s Wager. We consider the problems each creates and suggest prospects for the Wager in light of these problems.
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  27. What’s Epistemic About Epistemic Paternalism?Elizabeth Jackson - 2022 - In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy. New York: Routledge. pp. 132–150.
    The aim of this paper is to (i) examine the concept of epistemic paternalism and (ii) explore the consequences of normative questions one might ask about it. I begin by critically examining several definitions of epistemic paternalism that have been proposed, and suggesting ways they might be improved. I then contrast epistemic and general paternalism and argue that it’s difficult to see what makes epistemic paternalism an epistemic phenomenon at all. Next, I turn to the various normative questions one might (...)
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  28. Applied Ethics: An Impartial Introduction.Elizabeth Jackson, Tyron Goldschmidt, Dustin Crummett & Rebecca Chan - 2021 - Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing. Edited by Tyron Goldschmidt, Dustin Crummett & Rebecca Chan.
    This book is devoted to applied ethics. We focus on six popular and controversial topics: abortion, the environment, animals, poverty, punishment, and disability. We cover three chapters per topic, and each chapter is devoted to a famous or influential argument on the topic. After we present an influential argument, we then consider objections to the argument, and replies to the objections. The book is impartial, and set up in order to equip the reader to make up her own mind about (...)
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  29. The Nature and Rationality of Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - In Kevin Vallier & Joshua Rasmussen (eds.), A New Theist Response to the New Atheists. New York: Routledge. pp. 77-92.
    A popular objection to theistic commitment involves the idea that faith is irrational. Specifically, some seem to put forth something like the following argument: (P1) Everyone (or almost everyone) who has faith is epistemically irrational, (P2) All theistic believers have faith, thus (C) All (or most) theistic believers are epistemically irrational. In this paper, I argue that this line of reasoning fails. I do so by considering a number of candidates for what faith might be. I argue that, for each (...)
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  30. Wagering Against Divine Hiddenness.Elizabeth Jackson - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (4):85-108.
    J.L. Schellenberg argues that divine hiddenness provides an argument for the conclusion that God does not exist, for if God existed he would not allow non-resistant non-belief to occur, but non-resistant non-belief does occur, so God does not exist. In this paper, I argue that the stakes involved in theistic considerations put pressure on Schellenberg’s premise that non-resistant non-belief occurs. First, I specify conditions for someone’s being a resistant non-believer. Then, I argue that many people fulfill these conditions because, given (...)
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  31. The Cognitive Science of Credence.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Neil Van Leeuwen & Tania Lombrozo (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Cognitive Science of Belief. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Credences are similar to levels of confidence, represented as a value on the [0,1] interval. This chapter sheds light on questions about credence, including its relationship to full belief, with an eye toward the empirical relevance of credence. First, I’ll provide a brief epistemological history of credence and lay out some of the main theories of the nature of credence. Then, I’ll provide an overview of the main views on how credences relate to full beliefs. Finally, I’ll turn to the (...)
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  32. Dilemmas, Disagreement, and Dualism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - In Scott Stapleford, Kevin McCain & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Duties: New Arguments, New Angles. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 217–231.
    This paper introduces and motivates a solution to a dilemma from peer disagreement. Following Buchak (2021), I argue that peer disagreement puts us in an epistemic dilemma: there is reason to think that our opinions should both change and not change when we encounter disagreement with our epistemic peers. I argue that we can solve this dilemma by changing our credences, but not our beliefs in response to disagreement. I explain how my view solves the dilemma in question, and then (...)
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  33. Belief and Credence: A Defense of Dualism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    Belief is a familiar attitude: taking something to be the case or regarding it as true. But we are more confident in some of our beliefs than in others. For this reason, many epistemologists appeal to a second attitude, called credence, similar to a degree of confidence. This raises the question: how do belief and credence relate to each other? On a belief-first view, beliefs are more fundamental and credences are a species of beliefs, e.g. beliefs about probabilities. On a (...)
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  34. Faith, Hope, and Justification.Elizabeth Jackson - 2022 - In Paul Silva & Luis R. G. Oliveira (eds.), Propositional and Doxastic Justification: New Essays on their Nature and Significance. New York: Routledge. pp. 201–216.
    The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is normally applied to belief. The goal of this paper is to apply the distinction to faith and hope. Before doing so, I discuss the nature of faith and hope, and how they contrast with belief—belief has no essential conative component, whereas faith and hope essentially involve the conative. I discuss implications this has for evaluating faith and hope, and apply this to the propositional/doxastic distinction. There are two key upshots. One, bringing in (...)
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  35. Probing the Mind of God: Divine Beliefs and Credences.Elizabeth Jackson & Justin Mooney - 2022 - Religious Studies 58 (1):S61–S75.
    Although much has been written about divine knowledge, and some on divine beliefs, virtually nothing has been written about divine credences. In this essay we comparatively assess four views on divine credences: (1) God has only beliefs, not credences; (2) God has both beliefs and credences; (3) God has only credences, not beliefs; and (4) God has neither credences nor beliefs, only knowledge. We weigh the costs and benefits of these four views and draw connections to current discussions in philosophical (...)
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  36. The Ethics of Religious Belief.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Religious Studies Archives 1 (4):1-10.
    On some religious traditions, there are obligations to believe certain things. However, this leads to a puzzle, since many philosophers think that we cannot voluntarily control our beliefs, and, plausibly, ought implies can. How do we make sense of religious doxastic obligations? The papers in this issue present four responses to this puzzle. The first response denies that we have doxastic obligations at all; the second denies that ought implies can. The third and fourth responses maintain that we have either (...)
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  37. An Epistemic Version of Pascal's Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-17.
    Epistemic consequentialism is the view that epistemic goodness is more fundamental than epistemic rightness. This paper examines the relationship between epistemic consequentialism and theistic belief. I argue that, in an epistemic consequentialist framework, there is an epistemic reason to believe in God. Imagine having an unlimited amount of time to ask an omniscient being anything you wanted. The potential epistemic benefits would be enormous. Considerations like these point to an epistemic version of Pascal’s wager. I compare and contrast the epistemic (...)
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  38. Epistemic Paternalism, Epistemic Permissivism, and Standpoint Epistemology.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - In Amiel Bernal & Guy Axtell (eds.), Epistemic Paternalism Reconsidered: Conceptions, Justifications and Implications. Lanham, Md: Rowman & LIttlefield. pp. 201-215.
    Epistemic paternalism is the practice of interfering with someone’s inquiry, without their consent, for their own epistemic good. In this chapter, I explore the relationship between epistemic paternalism and two other epistemological theses: epistemic permissivism and standpoint epistemology. I argue that examining this relationship is fruitful because it sheds light on a series of cases in which epistemic paternalism is unjustified and brings out notable similarities between epistemic permissivism and standpoint epistemology.
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  39. Against the Phenomenal View of Evidence: Disagreement and Shared Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - In Kevin McCain, Scott Stapleford & Matthias Steup (eds.), Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 54–62.
    On the phenomenal view of evidence, seemings are evidence. More precisely, if it seems to S that p, S has evidence for p. Here, I raise a worry for this view of evidence; namely, that it has the counterintuitive consequence that two people who disagree would rarely, if ever, share evidence. This is because almost all differences in beliefs would involve differences in seemings. However, many literatures in epistemology, including the disagreement literature and the permissivism literature, presuppose that people who (...)
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  40. The Epistemology of Faith and Hope.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Ernest Sosa, Jonathan Dancy & Matthias Steup (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley Blackwell.
    This paper surveys the epistemology of two attitudes: faith and hope. First, I examine descriptive questions about faith and hope. Faith and hope are resilient attitudes with unique cognitive and conative components; while related, they are also distinct, notably in that hope’s cognitive component is weaker than faith’s. I then turn to faith and hope's epistemic (ir)rationality, and discuss various ways that faith and hope can be rational and irrational. Finally, I discuss the relationship between faith, hope, and knowledge: while (...)
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  41. Faith and Reason.Elizabeth Jackson - 2022 - In Mark A. Lamport (ed.), The Handbook of Philosophy and Religion. Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 167-177.
    What is faith? How is faith different than belief and hope? Is faith irrational? If not, how can faith go beyond the evidence? This chapter introduces the reader to philosophical questions involving faith and reason. First, we explore a four-part definition of faith. Then, we consider the question of how faith could be rational yet go beyond the evidence.
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  42. Children, Fetuses, and the Non-Existent: Moral Obligations and the Beginning of Life.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (4):379–393.
    The morality of abortion is a longstanding controversy. One may wonder whether it’s even possible to make significant progress on an issue over which so much ink has already been split and there is such polarizing disagreement (Boyle 1994). The papers in this issue show that this progress is possible—there is more to be said about abortion and other crucial beginning-of-life issues. They do so largely by applying contemporary philosophical tools to moral questions involving life’s beginning. The first two papers (...)
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  43. Epistemology.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Paul Allen (ed.), The T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Christian Theology. New York: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury.
    Epistemology is the study of knowledge. This entry covers epistemology in two parts: one historical, one contemporary. The former provides a brief theological history of epistemology. The latter outlines three categories of contemporary epistemology: traditional epistemology, social epistemology, and formal epistemology, along with corresponding theological questions that arise in each.
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  44. Beliefs and Blameworthiness.Elizabeth Jackson - 2014 - Stance 7:7-17.
    In this paper, I analyze epistemic blameworthiness. After presenting Michael Bergmann’s definition of epistemic blameworthiness, I argue that his definition is problematic because it does not have a control condition. I conclude by offering an improved definition of epistemic blameworthiness and defending this definition against potential counterexamples.
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