David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 168 (2):249 - 271 (2009)
In this paper I look at three challenges to the very possibility of an ethics of belief and then show how they can be met. The first challenge, from Thomas Kelly, says that epistemic rationality is not (merely) a form of instrumental rationality. If this claim is true, then it will be difficult to develop an ethics of belief that does not run afoul of naturalism. The second challenge is the Non-Voluntarism Argument, which holds that because we cannot believe at will and because ought implies can, there can be no ethics of belief. The third challenge comes from Richard Feldman, who claims that there is no such thing as ought all-things-considered. He says, for example, that moral oughts can be weighed against other moral oughts and that epistemic oughts can be compared to each other, but that there is no way to weigh moral oughts against epistemic oughts. If this is true, then norms about what one ought to believe are not nearly as important as one might have hoped or as philosophers have traditionally thought. In answering these three challenges, I try to show how and why the project of developing epistemic norms might be a promising avenue of research, despite claims to the contrary.
|Keywords||Ethics of belief Rationality Epistemology Voluntarism Value Normativity|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Richard Feldman (2000). The Ethics of Belief. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.
Hartry Field (2000). A Priority as an Evaluative Notion. In Paul A. Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.), New Essays on the a Priori. Oxford University Press.
Ronald N. Giere (1989). Scientific Rationality as Instrumental Rationality. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 20 (3):377-384.
Christopher Hookway (1990). Scepticism. Routledge.
William James (1979). The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Anthony Robert Booth (2014). Epistemic Ought is a Commensurable Ought. European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):529-539.
Similar books and articles
Anthony Robert Booth (2012). All Things Considered Duties to Believe. Synthese 187 (2):509-517.
Charles R. Pigden (2007). Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom. Episteme 4 (2):219-232.
Richard Pettigrew (2011). An Improper Introduction to Epistemic Utility Theory. In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Proceedings of EPSA: Amsterdam '09. Springer. 287--301.
Georgi Gardiner (2012). Understanding, Integration, and Epistemic Value. Acta Analytica 27 (2):163-181.
Andrew Chignell, The Ethics of Belief. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Thomas Kelly (2003). Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
Adam C. Podlaskowski (2010). Unbelievable Thoughts and Doxastic Oughts. Theoria 76 (2):112-118.
Brian Ribeiro & Scott Aikin (2009). A Consistency Challenge for Moral and Religious Beliefs. Teaching Philosophy 32 (2):127-151.
Thomas Kelly (2007). Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465–474.
Matthew Chrisman (2008). Ought to Believe. Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):346-370.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads152 ( #8,204 of 1,696,590 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #71,321 of 1,696,590 )
How can I increase my downloads?