is a late draft of a paper to appear in a collection about rational disagreement, edited by Fritz Warfield and Rich Feldman. The paper argues that it is possible for epistemic peers on a topic to having differing rational attitudes toward a proposition on the topic. This is argued to be possible even if the peers have exactly the same evidence on the topic.
Disjunctivists hold that perceiving external objects is fundamentally different from any experiential state that is not a perception. In fact, roughly speaking, disjunctivists say that they have nothing in common. Suppose that it appears to someone as though she perceives something. Disjunctivists say that there are two disparate sorts of facts that could make this true. Either she is genuinely perceiving something, or she is in an experiential state of merely apparent perception. An apparent perception is fundamentally unlike a perception. (...) Disjunctivists differ in what they say the fundamental difference is. We’ll get to some of that shortly. First I’ll say where I’m headed here. (shrink)
In “Why the generality problem is everybody’s problem,” Michael Bishop argues that every theory of justification needs a solution to the generality problem. He contends that a solution is needed in order for any theory to be used in giving an acceptable account of the justificatory status of beliefs in certain examples. In response, first I will describe the generality problem that is specific to process reliabilism and two other sorts of problems that are essentially the same. Then I will (...) argue that the examples that Bishop presents pose no such problem for some theories. I will illustrate the exempt theories by describing how an evidentialist view can account for the justification in the examples without having any similar problem. It will be clear that other views about justification are likewise unaffected by anything like the generality problem. (shrink)
Jim Stone has argued that a multiversal version of Modal Realism together with Counterpart Theory cannot account for a certain intuitive possibility. Roughly, it is the possibility that all free moral choices of a certain sort are the right choices in all cases in the multiverse. The present work offers an explanation of how the metaphysics in question can account for the intuitive possibility in question.
Experts take sides in standing scholarly disagreements. They rely on the epistemic reasons favorable to their side to justify their position. It is argued here that no position actually has an overall balance of undefeated reasons in its favor. Candidates for such reasons include the objective strength of the rational support for one side, the special force of details in the case for one side, and a summary impression of truth. All such factors fail to justify any position.
O evidencialismo é, primordialmente, uma tese sobre a justificação epistêmica e, secundariamente, uma tese sobre o conhecimento. Sustenta que a justificação epistêmica é superveniente da evidência. As versões do evidencialismo diferem quanto ao que conta como evidência, quanto ao que seja possuir algo como evidência e quanto ao que um dado corpo de evidência apóia. A tese secundária é a de que o apoio evidencial é necessário ao conhecimento. O evidencialismo ajuda a formular as questões epistemológicas de uma forma que (...) é ótima para que se perceba o núcleo dos problemas. Oferece soluções, sem mascarar as dificuldades. Nós fornecemos ilustração disso através da consideração dos problemas da justificação a priori e do ceticismo. O evidencialismo também oferece a base para que se compreenda uma grande variedade de fatos e conceitos epistemológicos. Nós fornecemos ilustração disso, mostrando que o evidencialismo pode explicar como a justificação pode ser anulada, como as atitudes distintas da crença podem ser objeto de avaliação e como a própria prática da filosofia é epistemicamente valiosa. PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Evidencialismo. Evidência. Justificação. Conhecimento. A priori. Ceticismo. ABSTRACT Evidentialism is primarily a thesis about epistemic justification and secondarily a thesis about knowledge. It holds that epistemic justification supervenes on evidence. Versions of evidentialism differ about what counts as evidence, what it is to have something as evidence, and what a particular body of evidence supports. The secondary thesis is that evidential support is necessary for knowledge. Evidentialism helps to frame epistemological issues in a way that is optimal for seeing the heart of the problems. It offers solutions without disguising the difficulties. We illustrate this by considering the problems of a priori justification and skepticism. Evidentialism also provides the basis for understanding a variety of epistemological facts and concepts. We illustrate this by showing that evidentialism can explain how justification can be defeated, how attitudes other than belief can be the object of evaluation, and how the practice of philosophy itself is epistemically valuable. KEY WORDS – Evidentialism. Evidence. Justification. Knowledge. A priori. Skepticism. (shrink)
Evidentialism is a view about the conditions under which a person is epistemically justified in having a particular doxastic attitude toward a proposition. Evidentialism holds that the justified attitudes are determined entirely by the person's evidence. This is the traditional view of justification. It is now widely opposed. The essays included in this volume develop and defend the tradition. Evidentialism has many assets. In addition to providing an intuitively plausible account of epistemic justification, it helps to resolve the problem of (...) the criterion, helps to disentangle epistemic and ethical evaluations, and illuminates the relationship between epistemic evaluations of beliefs and the evaluation of the methods used to form beliefs. These issues are all addressed in the essays presented here. External world skepticism poses the classic problem for an epistemological theory. The final essay in this volume argues that evidentialism is uniquely well qualified to make sense of skepticism and to respond to its challenge. Evidentialism is a version of epistemic internalism. Recent epistemology has included many attacks on internalism and has seen the development of numerous externalist theories. The essays included here respond to those attacks and raise objections to externalist theories, especially the principal rival, reliabilism. Internalism generally has been criticized for having unacceptable deontological implications, for failing to connect epistemic justification to truth, and for failing to provide an adequate account of what makes basic beliefs justified. Each of these charges is answered in these essays. The collection includes two previously unpublished essays and new afterwords to five of the reprinted essays; it will be the definitive resource on evidentialism for all epistemologists. (shrink)
Conclusions about the morality of abortion have been thought to receive some support from metaphysical doctrines about persons. The paper studies four instances in which philosophers have sought to draw such morals from metaphysics. It argues that in each instance the metaphysics makes no moral difference, and the manner of failure seems indicative of a general epistemic irrelevance of metaphysics to the moral issue.
Some propositions are obvious in their own right. We can `just see' that they are true. So there is some such epistemic phenomenon as seeing the truth of a proposition. This paper investigates the nature of this phenomenon. The aptness of the visual metaphor is explained. Accounts of the phenomenon requiring qualia by which the truth is apprehended are disputed. A limited theory is developed and applied.