Evidentialism and pragmatic constraints on outright belief

Philosophical Studies 139 (3):441 - 458 (2008)
Abstract
Evidentialism is the view that facts about whether or not an agent is justified in having a particular belief are entirely determined by facts about the agent’s evidence; the agent’s practical needs and interests are irrelevant. I examine an array of arguments against evidentialism (by Jeremy Fantl, Matthew McGrath, David Owens, and others), and demonstrate how their force is affected when we take into account the relation between degrees of belief and outright belief. Once we are sensitive to one of the factors that secure thresholds for outright believing (namely, outright believing that p in a given circumstance requires, at the minimum, that one’s degree of belief that p is high enough for one to be willing to act as if p in the circumstances), we see how pragmatic considerations can be relevant to facts about whether or not an agent is justified in believing that p—but largely as a consequence of the pragmatic constraints on outright believing.
Keywords Evidentialism  Belief  Degrees of belief  Justification  Pragmatic  Epistemic constraints
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    References found in this work BETA
    Keith DeRose (1992). Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.

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    Citations of this work BETA
    Bruno Whittle (2012). Belief, Information and Reasoning. Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):431-446.
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