Evidentialism and the problem of stored beliefs

Philosophical Studies 145 (2):311 - 324 (2009)
Many stored beliefs, like beliefs in one’s personal data or beliefs in one’s area of expertise, intuitively amount to knowledge, and so are justified. This uncontroversial datum arguably tells against evidentialism, the position according to which a belief is justified if it fits the available evidence: stored beliefs are normally not sustained by one’s available evidence. Conee and Feldman have tried to meet this potential objection by relaxing the notion of available evidence. According to their proposal, stored beliefs are dispositionally justified, because they are justified by the evidence one has the disposition to retrieve; such evidence, as a consequence, is to be characterize as available, though in a derivative sense. Goldman has criticized this proposal, by offering a counterexample to the claim that a disposition to generate a piece of evidence may qualify as a justifier. In this paper I critically examine two possible replies to Goldman’s example stemming from Conee and Feldman, and finally propose my own, based on a distinction, inspired by Audi, between dispositional evidence and the disposition to have evidence. Though this proposal differs from Conee and Feldman’s one, I will conclude that it fits pretty well their intuitions.
Keywords Internalism/Externalism  Evidentialism  Dispositional evidence  Stored beliefs
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References found in this work BETA
Richard Feldman (1988). Having Evidence. In D. F. Austin (ed.), Philosophical Analysis. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 83--104.

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Citations of this work BETA
Tommaso Piazza (2010). Perceptual Evidence and Information. Knowledge, Technology and Policy 23 (1-2):75-95.
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