Logos and Episteme 3 (1):131-137 (2012)

Guy Axtell
Radford University
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. Pragmatists and virtue theorists are champions of the diachronic. The norms which should advise our ethics of belief are primarily diachronic; neither is the diachronic irrelevant to analysis of knowledge (which would be to neglect the causal etiology of belief). 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 of disagreement,’ both concerned with giving guidance. Inquiry itself is diachronic, and epistemology on the pragmatist and virtue theoretical approaches in the theory of inquiry. Thus I reiterate that the reduction of epistemic normativity to synchronic evidential fit shows the inadequacy of Dougherty's (and of Conee and Feldman's) account and the need to move from internalist evidentialism to virtue responsibilism.
Keywords zetetic epistemology  epistemology of disagreement  ethics of belief  synchronic and diachronic  virtue epistemology  evidentialism  epistemology of testimony  doxastic responsibility
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ISBN(s) 2069-0533
DOI 10.5840/logos-episteme20123155
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