In praise of epistemic irresponsibility: How lazy and ignorant can you be?

Synthese 122 (1-2):179 - 208 (2000)
Abstract
Epistemic responsibility involves at least two central ideas. (V) To be epistemically responsible is to display the virtue(s) epistemic internalists take to be central to justification (e.g., coherence, having good reasons, fitting the evidence). (C) In normal (non-skeptical)circumstances and in thelong run, epistemic responsibility is strongly positively correlated with reliability. Sections 1 and 2 review evidence showing that for a wide range of real-world problems, the most reliable, tractable reasoning strategies audaciously flout the internalist''s epistemic virtues. In Section 3, I argue that these results force us to give up either (V), our current conception of what it is to be epistemically responsible, or (C) the responsibility-reliability connection. I will argue that we should relinquish (V). This is likely to reshape our epistemic practices. It will force us to alter our epistemic judgments about certain instances of reasoning, to endorse some counterintuitive epistemic prescriptions, and to rethink what it is for cognitive agents to be epistemically responsible.
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