The Epistemic Value of Moral Considerations: Justification, Moral Encroachment, and James' 'Will To Believe'
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Noûs 45 (2):239-268 (2011)
A moral-pragmatic argument for a proposition is an argument intended to establish that believing the proposition would be morally beneficial. Since such arguments do not adduce epistemic reasons, i.e., reasons that support the truth of a proposition, they can seem at best to be irrelevant epistemically. At worst, believing on the basis of such reasoning can seem to involve wishful thinking and intellectual dishonesty of a sort that that precludes such beliefs from being epistemically unjustified. Inspired by an argument from William James’ classic, “The Will to Believe”, I argue that there is a way of making sense of moral-pragmatic arguments such that they are epistemically relevant. I develop and argue for a theory of epistemic justification that I dub the “moral encroachment theory” (emphasizing its connection to recent pragmatic encroachment views). According to the theory, moral considerations can raise or lower epistemic standards from where they would be in morally neutral settings. The moral encroachment theory, I contend, denotes a normative property that is at once distinctively epistemic and valuable. The theory also allows a legitimate role for moral-pragmatic reasoning under certain conditions. The upshot is that moral-pragmatic reasoning can be epistemically as well as morally appropriate.
|Keywords||Pragmatic Encroachment Justification William James|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
McGrath & Jeremy Fantl (2012). Pragmatic Encroachment: It's Not Just About Knowledge. Episteme 9 (1):27-42.
Aaron Rizzieri (2011). Pragmatic Encroachment, Stakes, and Religious Knowledge. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (3):217-229.
Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder (2012). Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Hamid Vahid (2010). Rationalizing Beliefs: Evidential Vs. Pragmatic Reasons. Synthese 176 (3):447 - 462.
Jonathan Ichikawa, Benjamin Jarvis & Katherine Rubin (2012). Pragmatic Encroachment and Belief-Desire Psychology. Analytic Philosophy 53 (4):327-343.
Michael J. Shaffer (2012). Not-Exact-Truths, Pragmatic Encroachment and the Epistemic Norm of Practical Reasoning. Logos and Episteme 3:239-259.
Brian Weatherson (2005). Can We Do Without Pragmatic Encroachment? Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):417–443.
J. E. Adler (2012). Pragmatic Encroachment, Methods and Contextualism. Analysis 72 (3):526-534.
Theresa Weynand Tobin (2011). The Relevance of Trust for Moral Justification. Social Theory and Practice 37 (4):599-628.
Stephen Grimm (Forthcoming). &Quot;knowledge, Practical Interests, and Rising Tides&Quot;. In John Greco & David Henderson (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Point and Purpose in Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
Richard Rowland (2013). Moral Error Theory and the Argument From Epistemic Reasons. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (1):1-24.
Anne Baril (2013). Pragmatic Encroachment in Accounts of Epistemic Excellence. Synthese 190 (17):3929-3952.
Jeremy Randel Koons (2000). Do Normative Facts Need to Explain? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (3):246–272.
Added to index2010-10-01
Total downloads98 ( #8,927 of 1,008,759 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #39,218 of 1,008,759 )
How can I increase my downloads?