David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
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
Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
David Christensen (2007). Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News. Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
William G. Lycan (1988). Judgement and Justification. Cambridge University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Matthew Kopec & Michael G. Titelbaum (2016). The Uniqueness Thesis. Philosophy Compass 11 (4):189-200.
Miriam Schoenfield (2013). Permission to Believe: Why Permissivism Is True and What It Tells Us About Irrelevant Influences on Belief. Noûs 47 (1):193-218.
Daniel Greco (2014). A Puzzle About Epistemic Akrasia. Philosophical Studies 167 (2):201-219.
David Christensen (2009). Disagreement as Evidence: The Epistemology of Controversy. Philosophy Compass 4 (5):756-767.
Declan Smithies (2012). Moore's Paradox and the Accessibility of Justification. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):273-300.
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