About this topic
Summary Evidentialism in its broadest construal is the thesis that only evidential concerns are relevant to whether belief is epistemically appropriate (as opposed to, say, morally appropriate).  A common objection is that this counts as epistemically justified the beliefs of those who are, say, slothful in their evidence gathering or who ignore evidence because, say, they are racists of some sort.  Evidentialists reply that this confuses moral and prudential evaluations with epistemic evaluations. Since evidentialism is an account of the epistemic "ought", some object to limiting epistemic normatively in this way. Some will hold to value monism, arguing that there is only one epistemic norm but that it is some other desideratum like truth or knowledge, others will suggest value pluralism, saying at least that epistemic normatively is not limited to evidential considerations. Another objection to evidentialism is that it is a mere platitude.  Evidentialists reply by trying to flesh out the platitude with an account of evidence.  Many evidentialists prefer a traditional broadly empiricist notion of evidence as consisting in experiences or perhaps the propositional contents of experiences.  Others argue for more stringent restriction of evidence to facts or known facts.  
Key works Feldman & Conee 1985 began the contemporary discussion, with Conee & Feldman 2004 being the locus classicus.  Dougherty 2011 expands the conversation.  As defended in Conee & Feldman 2004, evidentialism is a supervenience thesis: any two possible individuals alike in respect of evidence are alike in respects of what they ought to believe.  Feldman 2000 argues that this epistemic use of "ought" is exhausted by reference to evidence.  DeRose, in Derose 2000, argues against this. Following most traditional epistemologists, Conee & Feldman 2004 take basic evidence to consist in experiences.  Williamson 2000, argues that evidence is all and only one's knowledge.  Conee & Feldman 2008 reply briefly.  Dougherty 2011 puts pressure on Conee & Feldman 2008 to engage more with Williamson.  Dougherty & Rysiew 2013 engages multi-exchange debate with Williamson. A common objection to evidentialism comes from connections between epistemic justification and epistemic responsibility are logically related (identical, even). Feldman & Conee 1985 reply that this objection confuses moral and prudential considerations with epistemic considerations.  Still, Baehr 2009 (anthologized in Dougherty 2011 along with replies by Conee and Feldman) presses the point.  Dougherty 2012 defends the confusion reply. 
Introductions Both Conee & Feldman 2004 and Dougherty 2011 have helpful introductions.  
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  1. Berkeley and Epistemology.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  2. Evidentialism for Everyone.Scott Aikin - 2007 - Think 5 (15):37-44.
    Should we always proportion belief to the available evidence? Scott Aikin believes so.
  3. Evidentialism and James' Argument From Friendship.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Southwest Philosophy Review 24 (1):173-180.
    William James' main argument in “The Will to Believe” against evidentialism is that there are facts that cannot come to be without a preliminary faith in their coming. James primarily makes this case with the argument from friendship. I will critically present James' argument from friendship and show that the argument does not yield a counter-example to evidentialism and is in the end unsound.
  4. Contrastive Self-Attribution of Belief.Scott F. Aikin - 2006 - Social Epistemology 20 (1):93 – 103.
    A common argument for evidentialism is that the norms of assertion, specifically those bearing on warrant and assertability, regulate belief. On this assertoric model of belief, a constitutive condition for belief is that the believing subject take her belief to be supported by sufficient evidence. An equally common source of resistance to these arguments is the plausibility of cases in which a speaker, despite the fact that she lacks warrant to assert that p, nevertheless attributes to herself the belief that (...)
  5. Modest Evidentialism.Scott F. Aikin - 2006 - International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3):327-343.
    Evidentialism is the view that subjects should believe neither more than nor contrary to what their current evidence supports. I will critically present two arguments for the view. A common source of resistance to evidentialism is that there are intuitive cases where subjects should believe contrary to their evidence. I will present modest evidentialism as the view that subjects should believe in accord with what their evidence supports, but that this norm may be overridden under certain conditions. As such, a (...)
  6. The Problem of Respecting Higher-Order Doubt.David J. Alexander - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13 (18).
    This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, (...)
  7. Refuting Van Inwagen's 'Refutation': Evidentialism Again.Michael J. Almeida - 1998 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 44 (1):23 - 29.
  8. Two New Objections to Explanationism.Bryan C. Appley & Gregory Stoutenburg - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    After a period of inactivity, interest in explanationism as a thesis about the nature of epistemic justification has been renewed. Poston and McCain have both recently offered versions of explanationist evidentialism. In this paper, we pose two objections to explanationist evidentialism. First, explanationist evidentialism fails to state a sufficient condition for justification. Second, explanationist evidentialism implies a vicious regress.
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  9. (More) Springs of My Discontent.Guy Axtell - 2012 - Logos and Episteme (1):131-137.
    A further reply to Trent Dougherty, author of Evidentialism and its Discontents, on a range of issues regarding a proper understanding of epistemic normativity and doxastic responsibility. The relative importance of synchronic and diachronic concerns with epistemic agency is discussed, both with respect to epistemology proper, as well as in connection to broader concerns with ‘ethics of belief’ and ‘epistemology of disagreement.’.
  10. From Internalist Evidentialism to Virtue Responsibilism.Guy Axtell - 2011 - In Trent Dougherty (ed.), Evidentialism and its Discontents. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Evidentialism as its leading proponents describe it has two distinct senses, these being evidentialism as a conceptual analysis of epistemic justification, and as a prescriptive ethics of belief—an account of what one ‘ought to believe’ under different epistemic circumstances. These two senses of evidentialism are related, but in the work of leading evidentialist philosophers, in ways that I think are deeply problematic. Although focusing on Richard Feldman’s ethics of belief, this chapter is critical of evidentialism in both senses. However, I (...)
  11. Recovering Responsibility.Guy Axtell - 2011 - Logos and Episteme (3):429-454..
    This paper defends the epistemological importance of ‘diachronic’ or cross-temporal evaluation of epistemic agents against an interesting dilemma posed for this view in Trent Dougherty’s recent paper “Reducing Responsibility.” This is primarily a debate between evidentialists and character epistemologists, and key issues of contention that the paper treats include the divergent functions of synchronic and diachronic (longitudinal) evaluations of agents and their beliefs, the nature and sources of epistemic normativity, and the advantages versus the costs of the evidentialists’ reductionism about (...)
  12. Three Independent Factors in Epistemology.Guy Axtell & Philip Olson - 2006 - Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (2):89–109.
    We articulate John Dewey’s “independent factors” approach to moral philosophy and then adapt and extend this approach to address contemporary debate concerning the nature and sources of epistemic normativity. We identify three factors (agent reliability, synchronic rationality, and diachronic rationality) as each making a permanent contribution to epistemic value. Critical of debates that stem from the reductionistic ambitions of epistemological systems that privilege of one or another of these three factors, we advocate an axiological pluralism that acknowledges each factor as (...)
  13. Evidentialism, Vice, and Virtue.Jason Baehr - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (3):545-567.
    Evidentialists maintain that epistemic justification is strictly a function of the evidence one has at the moment of belief. I argue here, on the basis of two kinds of cases, that the possession of good evidence is an insuflicient basis for justification. I go on to propose a modification of evidentialism according to which justification sometimes requires intellectually virtuous agency. The discussion thereby underscores an important point of contact between evidentialism and the more recent enterprise of virtue epistemology.
  14. How to Be an Evidentialist About Belief in God.Gordon Barnes - 2011 - Philo 14 (1):25-31.
    Evidentialism about belief in God is the proposition that a person is justified in believing in God only if she has evidence for her belief. Alvin Plantinga has long argued that there is no good argument for evidentialism about belief in God. However, it does not follow that such evidentialism is unjustified, since it could be properly basic. In fact, there is no good argument against the proper basicality of evidentialism about belief in God. So an evidentialist about belief in (...)
  15. Higher-Order Evidence: Its Nature and Epistemic Significance.Brian Barnett - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Rochester
    Higher-order evidence is, roughly, evidence of evidence. The idea is that evidence comes in levels. At the first, or lowest, evidential level is evidence of the familiar type—evidence concerning some proposition that is not itself about evidence. At a higher evidential level the evidence concerns some proposition about the evidence at a lower level. Only in relatively recent years has this less familiar type of evidence been explicitly identified as a subject of epistemological focus, and the work on it remains (...)
  16. Evidentialism, Circularity, and Grounding.Bob Beddor - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1847-1868.
    This paper explores what happens if we construe evidentialism as a thesis about the metaphysical grounds of justification. According to grounding evidentialism, facts about what a subject is justified in believing are grounded in facts about that subject’s evidence. At first blush, grounding evidentialism appears to enjoy advantages over a more traditional construal of evidentialism as a piece of conceptual analysis. However, appearances are deceiving. I argue that grounding evidentialists are unable to provide a satisfactory story about what grounds the (...)
  17. Objectivity and Bias.Gordon Belot - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):655-695.
    The twin goals of this essay are: to investigate a family of cases in which the goal of guaranteed convergence to the truth is beyond our reach; and to argue that each of three strands prominent in contemporary epistemological thought has undesirable consequences when confronted with the existence of such problems. Approaches that follow Reichenbach in taking guaranteed convergence to the truth to be the characteristic virtue of good methods face a vicious closure problem. Approaches on which there is a (...)
  18. O chamado e ministério de Paulo, seguindo os passos dos profetas de Israel.Correia Élcio Bernardino - 2016 - Revista de Cultura Teológica 87:140-160.
    : This article aims to show that although the apostle Paul did not call himself a prophet, still makes his presentation in his letters in the same way that the Old Testament prophets. The article points out the many similarities between Paul and the prophets. It seeks to analyze and interact with Scripture and literature concerning the matter.We conclude that the Apostle founded the authority of his call, highlighting the prophetic aspect of his apostolate. It is evident that the Apostle (...)
  19. Croyance et justification.Renée Bilodeau - 2001 - Cahiers de Philosophie de L’Université de Caen 37:153-165.
    Cet article se propose de montrer que l’éthique de la croyance, si elle permet de clarifier certains problèmes épistémiques, a le tort d’être utilisée à des fins pour lesquelles le réseau conceptuel de l’éthique est inadéquat. Dans ce but, je présente d’abord la thèse de la divergence et les arguments qui militent en sa faveur. J’indique ensuite pourquoi ces arguments ne sont pas concluants en examinant de plus près les rapports existant entre raisons épistémiques et raisons pratiques. Cette discussion se (...)
  20. Review: Evidentialism. [REVIEW]L. Bonjour - 2007 - Mind 116 (461):157-161.
  21. Two Reasons Why Epistemic Reasons Are Not Object‐Given Reasons.Anthony Robert Booth - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):1-14.
    In this paper I discuss two claims; the first is the claim that state-given reasons for belief are of a radically different kind to object-given reasons for belief. The second is that, where this last claim is true, epistemic reasons are object-given reasons for belief (EOG). I argue that EOG has two implausible consequences: (i) that suspension of judgement can never be epistemically justified, and (ii) that the reason that epistemically justifies a belief that p can never be the reason (...)
  22. A New Argument for Pragmatism?Anthony Robert Booth - 2008 - Philosophia 36 (2):227-231.
    Shah, N. The Philosophical Quarterly, 56, 481–498 (2006) has defended evidentialism on the premise that only it (and not pragmatism) is consistent with both (a) the deliberative constraint on reasons and (b) the transparency feature of belief. I show, however, that the deliberative constraint on reasons is also problematic for evidentialism. I also suggest a way for pragmatism to be construed so as to make it consistent with both (a) and (b) and argue that a similar move is not available (...)
  23. The Two Faces of Evidentialism.Anthony Robert Booth - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):401-417.
    In this paper I hope to demonstrate two different ways of interpreting the tenets of evidentialism and show why it is important to distinguish between them. These two ways correspond to those proposed by Feldman and Adler. Feldman’s way of interpreting evidentialism makes evidentialism a principle about epistemic justification, about what we ought to believe. Adler’s, on the other hand, makes evidentialism a principle about how we come to believe, what it is, broadly speaking, rational for us to believe. Having (...)
  24. Against an Argument Against Justification Internalism.A. Brueckner - 2012 - Analysis 72 (4):745-746.
    A novel (and surprising) argument against justification internalism. Analysis 72: 239–43, Sanford Goldberg uses the New Evil Demon thought experiment in an attempt to argue as in the foregoing title. I respond by maintaining that his argument fails when aimed at a prominent version of internalism, viz. evidentialism.
  25. What Missed Clues Cases Show.Anthony Brueckner - 2003 - Analysis 63 (4):303–305.
  26. Explanationism, Super-Explanationism, Ecclectic Explanationism: Persistent Problems on Both Sides.T. Byerly Ryan & Martin Kraig - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (2):201-213.
    We argue that explanationist views in epistemology continue to face persistent challenges to both their necessity and their sufficiency. This is so despite arguments offered by Kevin McCain in a paper recently published in this journal which attempt to show otherwise. We highlight ways in which McCain’s attempted solutions to problems we had previously raised go awry, while also presenting a novel challenge for all contemporary explanationist views.
  27. A Dispositional, Internalist, Evidentialist Virtue Epistemology.T. Ryan Byerly - 2014 - Logos and Episteme 5 (4):399-424.
    This paper articulates and defends a novel version of internalist evidentialism which employs dispositions to account for the relation of evidentialsupport. In section one, I explain internalist evidentialist views generally, highlighting the way in which the relation of evidential support stands at the heart of these views. I then discuss two leading ways in which evidential support has been understood by evidentialists, and argue that an account of support which employs what I call epistemic dispositions remedies difficulties arguably faced by (...)
  28. Disjunctivism and the Ethics of Disbelief.Marc Champagne - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (2):139-163.
    This paper argues that there is a conflict between two theses held by John McDowell, namely i) the claim that we are under a standing obligation to revise our beliefs if reflection demands it; and ii) the view that veridical experience is a mode of direct access to the world. Since puts no bounds on what would constitute reasonable doubt, it invites skeptical concerns which overthrow. Conversely, since says that there are some experiences which we are entitled to trust, it (...)
  29. The Ethics of Belief.Andrew Chignell - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The “ ethics of belief” refers to a cluster of questions at the intersection of epistemology, philosophy of mind, psychology, and ethics. The central question in the debate is whether there are norms of some sort governing our habits of belief formation, belief maintenance, and belief relinquishment. Is it ever or always morally wrong to hold a belief on insufficient evidence? Is it ever or always morally right to believe on the basis of sufficient evidence, or to withhold belief in (...)
  30. Roger Feldman Stephen T. Parente.Jon B. Christianson - 2007 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 44.
  31. Responsibilist Evidentialism.Christopher Michael Cloos - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2999-3016.
    When is a person justified in believing a proposition? In this paper, I defend a view according to which a person is justified in believing a proposition just in case the person’s evidence sufficiently supports the proposition and the person responsibly acquired and sustained the evidence that supports the proposition. This view overcomes a deficiency in a prominent theory of epistemic justification. As championed by Earl Conee and Richard Feldman, Evidentialism is a theory subject to counterexamples at the hands of (...)
  32. Evidentialist Reliabilism.Juan Comesaña - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):571-600.
    I argue for a theory that combines elements of reliabilism and evidentialism.
  33. Reliabilist Evidentialism”.Juan Comesaña - 2010 - Noûs 44:571-600.
  34. Good to Know.Earl Conee - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):311-331.
    Our curiosity has us interested in finding out the truth. Knowing the fact of the matter fulfills the interest. This fulfillment is something satisfying about knowledge. Additionally, knowledge is a good way for a person to relate to a proposition. Knowing is good because of what knowledge is. In other words, knowledge is intrinsically good. The credibility of these assessments calls for some explanation. A traditional view is that knowledge is justified true belief with no Gettier accidents. This conception is (...)
  35. Evidentialism: Essays in Epistemology.Earl Brink Conee - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
  36. Evidence.Earl Conee & Richard Feldman - 2008 - In Quentin Smith (ed.), Epistemology: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
  37. Evidentialism.Earl Conee & Richard Feldman - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    Evidentialism holds that the justified attitudes are determined entirely by the person's evidence. This is the traditional view ofjustification.
  38. Commonsense, Skeptical Theism, and Different Sorts of Closure of Inquiry Defeat.Curtis Rutledge Jonathan - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (1):17-32.
    Trent Dougherty argues (contra Jonathan Matheson) that when taking into consideration the probabilities involving skeptical theism (ST) and gratuitous evils, an agent may reasonably affirm both ST and that gratuitous evils exist. In other words, Dougherty thinks that assigning a greater than .5 probability to ST is insufficient to defeat the commonsense problem of evil. I argue that Dougherty’s response assumes, incorrectly, that ST functions solely as an evidential defeater, and that, when understood as a closure of inquiry defeater, ST (...)
  39. Alstonian Foundationalism and Higher-Level Theistic Evidentialism.L. Czapkay Sudduth Michael - 1995 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 37 (1):25-44.
  40. Evidentialism and the Will to Believe, by Scott F Aikin.Franca D'Agostini - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):625-626.
  41. Epistemic Uniqueness and the Practical Relevance of Epistemic Practices.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-13.
    By taking the practical relevance of coordinated epistemic standards into account, Dogramaci and Horowitz (2016) as well as Greco and Hedden (2016) offer a new perspective on epistemic permissiveness. However, in its current state, their argument appears to be inconclusive. I will offer two reasons why this argument does not support interpersonal uniqueness in general. First, such an argument leaves open the possibility that distinct closed societies come to incompatible epistemic standards. Second, some epistemic practices like the promotion of methodological (...)
  42. Evidentialism and the Will to Believe by Scott F. Aikin. [REVIEW]Cornelis de Waal - 2015 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 51 (2):266-271.
    Scott Aikin’s Evidentialism and the Will to Believe is the first book-length discussion of W.K. Clifford’s 1877 “The Ethics of Belief ” and William James’s 1896 “The Will to Believe.” Except for twenty pages, the book splits evenly between a detailed discussion of the two essays. A good book demands some good criticism, and I am hoping that the comments I make are read in that light. Evidentialism and the Will to Believe appears in the Bloomsbury Research in Analytic Philosophy (...)
  43. Questioning Evidentialism.Keith DeRose - 2011 - In Trent Dougherty (ed.), Evidentialism and its Discontents. Oxford University Press.
  44. Ought We to Follow Our Evidence?Keith Derose - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):697-706.
    fits our evidence.[1] I will propose some potential counter-examples to test this evidentialist thesis. My main intention in presenting the “counter-examples” is to better understand Feldman’s evidentialism, and evidentialism in general. How are we to understand what our evidence is, how it works, and how are we to understand the phrase “epistemically ought to believe” such that evidentialism might make sense as a plausible thesis in light of the examples? Of course, we may decide that there’s no such way to (...)
  45. Evidentialism and Skeptical Arguments.Dylan Dodd - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):337-352.
    Cartesian skepticism about epistemic justification (‘skepticism’) is the view that many of our beliefs about the external world – e.g., my current belief that I have hands – aren’t justified. I examine the two most influential arguments for skepticism – the Closure Argument and the Underdetermination Argument – from an evidentialist perspective. For both arguments it is clear which premise the anti-skeptic must deny. The Closure Argument, I argue, is the better argument in that its key premise is weaker than (...)
  46. Evidentialism and its Discontents.Trent Dougherty (ed.) - 2011 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Few concepts have been considered as essential to the theory of knowledge and rational belief as that of evidence. The simplest theory which accounts for this is evidentialism, the view that epistemic justification for belief--the kind of justification typically taken to be required for knowledge--is determined solely by considerations pertaining to one's evidence. In this ground-breaking book, leading epistemologists from across the spectrum challenge and refine evidentialism, sometimes suggesting that it needs to be expanded in quite surprising directions. Following this, (...)
  47. Doxastic Permissiveness and the Promise of Truth.J. Drake - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    The purpose of this paper is to challenge what is often called the “Uniqueness” thesis. According to this thesis, given one’s total evidence, there is a unique rational doxastic attitude that one can take to any proposition. It is sensible for defenders of Uniqueness to commit to an accompanying principle that: when some agent A has equal epistemic reason both to believe that p and to believe that not p, the unique epistemically rational doxastic attitude for A to adopt with (...)
  48. Responses to Evidentialism in Contemporary Religious Epistemology: Plantinga and Swinburne in Conversation with Aquinas.Edmond Eh - 2015 - GSTF Journal of General Philosophy 1 (2):33-41.
    In contemporary debates in religious epistemology, theistic philosophers provide differing responses to the evidentialist argument against religious beliefs. Plantinga’s strategy is to argue that evidence is not needed to justify religious beliefs while Swinburne’s strategy is to argue that religious beliefs can be justified by evidence. However, in Aquinas’ account of religious epistemology, he seems to employ both strategies. In his account of religious knowledge by faith, he argues that evidence is unnecessary for religious beliefs. But in his account of (...)
  49. Sanctifying Evidentialism.Horace Fairlamb - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (1):61-76.
    In contemporary epistemology of religion, evidentialism has been included in a wider critique of traditional foundationalist theories of rational belief. To show the irrelevance of evidentialism, some critics have offered alternatives to the foundationalist approach, prominent among which is Alvin Plantinga's 'warrant as proper function'. But the connection between evidentialism and foundationalism has been exaggerated, and criticisms of traditional foundationalism do not discredit evidentialism in principle. Furthermore, appeals to warranted belief imply that the heart of evidentialism — the proportioning of (...)
  50. Is There Room for Justified Beliefs Without Evidence? A Critical Assessment of Epistemic Evidentialism.Domingos Faria - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (2):137-152.
    In the first section of this paper I present epistemic evidentialism and, in the following two sections, I discuss that view with counterexamples. I shall defend that adequately supporting evidence is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for epistemic justification. Although we need epistemic elements other than evidence in order to have epistemic justification, there can be no epistemically justified belief without evidence. However, there are other kinds of justification beyond the epistemic justification, such as prudential or moral justification; (...)
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