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.
    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 - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3069-3084.
    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.
  9. William James on Pragmatism and Religion.Guy Axtell - 2018 - In Jacob Goodson (ed.), William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Ethical Life: The Cries of the Wounded. London: Lexington Books. pp. 317-336.
    Critics and defenders of William James both acknowledge serious tensions in his thought, tensions perhaps nowhere more vexing to readers than in regard to his claim about an individual’s intellectual right to their “faith ventures.” Focusing especially on “Pragmatism and Religion,” the final lecture in Pragmatism, this chapter will explore certain problems James’ pragmatic pluralism. Some of these problems are theoretical, but others concern the real-world upshot of adopting James permissive ethics of belief. Although Jamesian permissivism is qualified in certain (...)
  10. (More) Springs of My Discontent.Guy Axtell - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 1 (3):131-137.
    A further reply to Trent Dougherty, author of Evidentialism and its Discontents, on a range of issues that evidentialists like Dougherty and Feldman, and pragmatists like myself have very different views about. These issues include a regarding a proper understanding of epistemic normativity and its relationship with doxastic responsibility. My reply tries to articulate the relative importance of synchronic and diachronic concerns with epistemic agency, both with respect to well-founded belief, as with respect to the ‘ethics of belief’ and ‘epistemology (...)
  11. 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 (...)
  12. 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 (...)
  13. From Internalist Evidentialism to Virtue Responsibilism.Guy Axtell - 2011 - In T. Dougherty & Trent Dougherty (eds.), Evidentialism and its Discontents. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 71-87.
    Evidentialism as Earl Conee and Richard Feldman present it is a philosophy with distinct aspects or sides: Evidentialism as a conceptual analysis of epistemic justification, and as a prescriptive ethics of belief. I argue that Conee and Feldman's ethics of belief has 'weak roots and sour fruits.' It has weak roots because it is premised on their account of justification qua synchronic rationality, and I undercut this account. It has sour fruits because the austere evidentialist ethic of belief is unable (...)
  14. Three Independent Factors in Epistemology.Guy Axtell & Philip Olson - 2009 - 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 (...)
  15. 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.
  16. 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 (...)
  17. 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 (...)
  18. 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 (...)
  19. What Should We Believe About the Future?Miloud Belkoniene - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.
    This paper discusses the ability of explanationist theories of epistemic justification to account for the justification we have for holding beliefs about the future. McCain’s explanationist account of the relation of evidential support is supposedly in a better position than other theories of this type to correctly handle cases involving beliefs about the future. However, the results delivered by this account have been questioned by Byerly and Martin. This paper argues that McCain’s account is, in fact, able to deliver plausible (...)
  20. 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 (...)
  21. 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 (...)
  22. Esperienza religiosa e pratiche doxastiche.Daniele Bertini - 2017 - Hermeneutica 2017:211-236.
    My paper argues for the claim that religious experience may provide evidential reasons in support of religious beliefs. I name such a claim epistemic view of mystical experience (EM). In the first section, I sketch two approaches to EM. Swinburne, Alston and Plantinga (among others) develop a notable defense of EM. On the contrary, seminal works by Feuerbach and Bultmann offer the opposite account. I briefly show how to resist to the criticism of EM. In light of such line of (...)
  23. 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 (...)
  24. Review: Evidentialism. [REVIEW]L. Bonjour - 2007 - Mind 116 (461):157-161.
  25. 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 (...)
  26. 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 (...)
  27. 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 (...)
  28. 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.
  29. What Missed Clues Cases Show.Anthony Brueckner - 2003 - Analysis 63 (4):303–305.
  30. Платон, эвиденциализм и JTB (Plato, Evidentialism, and JTB).Pavel Butakov - 2018 - ΣΧΟΛΗ: Ancient Philosophy and The Classical Tradition 12 (2):669-685.
    It is often claimed that Plato’s definition of knowledge as “true opinion with an account” is in agreement with the contemporary analysis of knowledge as “justified true belief”. Some scholars disagree with the attribution of JTB to Plato. I analyze three influential arguments against the assumption of Plato’s agreement with JTB, and refute them. Then I provide my own argument against the assumption. I argue that the contemporary interpretation of the JTB formula understands “belief” not in the sense of an (...)
  31. Explanationism, Super-Explanationism, Ecclectic Explanationism: Persistent Problems on Both Sides.Ryan T. Byerly & Kraig Martin - 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.
  32. 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 (...)
  33. 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 (...)
  34. 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 (...)
  35. Roger Feldman Stephen T. Parente.Jon B. Christianson - 2007 - Inquiry: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing 44.
  36. Stop Making Sense? On a Puzzle About Rationality.Littlejohn Clayton - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:257-272.
    In this paper, I present a puzzle about epistemic rationality. It seems plausible that it should be rational to believe a proposition if you have sufficient evidential support for it. It seems plausible that it rationality requires you to conform to the categorical requirements of rationality. It also seems plausible that our first-order attitudes ought to mesh with our higher-order attitudes. It seems unfortunate that we cannot accept all three claims about rationality. I will present three ways of trying to (...)
  37. 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 (...)
  38. Evidentialist Reliabilism.Juan Comesaña - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):571-600.
    I argue for a theory that combines elements of reliabilism and evidentialism.
  39. 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 (...)
  40. 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 (...)
  41. Evidence.Earl Conee & Richard Feldman - 2008 - In Quentin Smith (ed.), Epistemology: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
  42. Evidentialism: Essays in Epistemology.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.
  43. Alstonian Foundationalism and Higher-Level Theistic Evidentialism.L. Czapkay Sudduth Michael - 1995 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 37 (1):25-44.
  44. Evidentialism and the Will to Believe, by Scott F Aikin.Franca D'Agostini - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):625-626.
  45. One Standard to Rule Them All?Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Ratio.
    It has been argued that an epistemically rational agent’s evidence is subjectively mediated through some rational epistemic standards, and that there are incompatible but equally rational epistemic standards available to agents. This supports Permissiveness, the view according to which one or multiple fully rational agents are permitted to take distinct incompatible doxastic attitudes towards P (relative to a body of evidence). In this paper, I argue that the above claims entail the existence of a unique and more reliable epistemic standard. (...)
  46. Epistemic Uniqueness and the Practical Relevance of Epistemic Practices.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (4):1721-1733.
    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 (...)
  47. Accuracy and Ur-Prior Conditionalization.Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-35.
    Recently, several epistemologists have defended an attractive principle of epistemic rationality, which we shall call Ur-Prior Conditionalization. In this essay, I ask whether we can justify this principle by appealing to the epistemic goal of accuracy. I argue that any such accuracy-based argument will be in tension with Evidence Externalism, i.e., the view that agent's evidence may entail non-trivial propositions about the external world. This is because any such argument will crucially require the assumption that, independently of all empirical evidence, (...)
  48. 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 (...)
  49. Conspiracy Theories on the Basis of the Evidence.Matthew Dentith - 2017 - Synthese:1-19.
    Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is at the very least understandable---because conspiracies occur---and that if we take an evidential approach, judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits, belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. -/- Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence typically associated with conspiracy theories, and show (...)
  50. Questioning Evidentialism.Keith DeRose - 2011 - In Trent Dougherty (ed.), Evidentialism and its Discontents. Oxford University Press.
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