Martin Smith Glasgow University
I'm interested in what it takes for a belief to be justified or rational. Descartes famously thought that you couldn't justifiably believe a proposition P unless it was absolutely certain - unless there was no chance that you were wrong about P. Most philosophers these days think that this sets the bar too high - in order to justifiably believe P it is enough that P be probable - likely to be true. I think that both of these views are mistaken. On my view, justification requires more than probability, but less than certainty - it requires something that I term 'normic support'. I've developed these ideas in a series of papers and recently set them out in a book, Between Probability and Certainty, forthcoming with Oxford University Press.