David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):445–459 (2005)
A rational person doesn’t believe just anything. There are limits on what it is rational to believe. How wide are these limits? That’s the main question that interests me here. But a secondary question immediately arises: What factors impose these limits? A first stab is to say that one’s evidence determines what it is epistemically permissible for one to believe. Many will claim that there are further, non-evidentiary factors relevant to the epistemic rationality of belief. I will be ignoring the details of alternative answers in order to focus on the question of what kind of rational constraints one’s evidence puts on belief. Our main question concerns how far epistemic permission and obligation can come apart.1 Suppose I am epistemically permitted to believe P, i.e., it would not be irrational for me to believe it. Am I thereby obliged to believe P, or are other options rationally available to me?2 Might I be equally rational in remaining agnostic about P, or even believing not-P? Or could even a slightly stronger or weaker degree of confidence be just as reasonable?
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References found in this work BETA
David Christensen (2007). Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News. Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
John Earman (1992). Bayes or Bust? Bradford.
Richard Foley (1987). The Theory of Epistemic Rationality. Harvard University Press.
Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Paul Silva Jr (2013). Epistemically Self-Defeating Arguments and Skepticism About Intuition. Philosophical Studies 164 (3):579-589.
David Christensen (2009). Disagreement as Evidence: The Epistemology of Controversy. Philosophy Compass 4 (5):756-767.
Jonathan Matheson (2009). Conciliatory Views of Disagreement and Higher-Order Evidence. Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 6 (3):269-279.
Bryan Frances (2010). The Reflective Epistemic Renegade. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):419 - 463.
Errol Lord (2014). The Coherent and the Rational. Analytic Philosophy 54 (4):151-175.
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