David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Noûs 17 (1):65-67 (1983)
Probability is sometimes regarded as a universal panacea for epistemology. It has been supposed that the rationality of belief is almost entirely a matter of probabilities. Unfortunately, those philosophers who have thought about this most extensively have tended to be probability theorists first, and epistemologists only secondarily. In my estimation, this has tended to make them insensitive to the complexities exhibited by epistemic justification. In this paper I propose to turn the tables. I begin by laying out some rather simple and uncontroversial features of the structure of epistemic justification, and then go on to ask what we can conclude about the connection between epistemology and probability in the light of those features. My conclusion is that probability plays no central role in epistemology. This is not to say that probability plays no role at all. In the course of the investigation, I defend a pair of probabilistic acceptance rules which enable us, under some circumstances, to arrive at justified belief on the basis of high probability. But these rules are of quite limited scope. The effect of there being such rules is merely that probability provides one source for justified belief, on a par with perception, memory, etc. There is no way probability can provide a universal cure for all our epistemological ills.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Joshua Schechter (2013). Rational Self-Doubt and the Failure of Closure. Philosophical Studies 163 (2):428-452.
John L. Pollock (1987). Epistemic Norms. Synthese 71 (1):61 - 95.
John Pollock (1987). Defeasible Reasoning. Cognitive Science 11 (4):481-518.
Baron Reed (2012). Fallibilism. Philosophy Compass 7 (9):585-596.
Frederick F. Schmitt (1987). Justification, Sociality, and Autonomy. Synthese 73 (1):43 - 85.
Similar books and articles
Staffan Angere (2007). The Defeasible Nature of Coherentist Justification. Synthese 157 (3):321 - 335.
Maria Carla Galavotti (2003). Harold Jeffreys' Probabilistic Epistemology: Between Logicism and Subjectivism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):43-57.
Horacio Arlo-Costa, Bayesian Epistemology and Epistemic Conditionals: On the Status of the Export-Import Laws.
Branden Fitelson (2010). Pollock on Probability in Epistemology. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 148 (3):455 - 465.
Richard Otte (1987). A Theistic Conception of Probability. Faith and Philosophy 4 (4):427-447.
Stephan Hartmann & Jan Sprenger (forthcoming). Bayesian Epistemology. In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge.
Mark T. Nelson (2002). What Justification Could Not Be. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (3):265 – 281.
William A. Roche (2010). Coherentism, Truth, and Witness Agreement. Acta Analytica 25 (2):243-257.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads43 ( #42,363 of 1,101,646 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #128,739 of 1,101,646 )
How can I increase my downloads?