The Two Faces of Evidentialism

Erkenntnis 67 (3):401-417 (2007)
Authors
Anthony Booth
University of Sussex
Abstract
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 identified this difference, I consider two complaints levied against evidentialism, namely what I call the threshold problem and what I call the availability problem, and hope to show that: only an independent, bracketed justification principle of evidentialism can deal with those problems; the rationality principle of evidentialism is not in fact independent from the justification principle; the rationality principle is hard to motivate; and that in the final analysis the argument for the justification principle depends on the rationality principle. I thus conclude that although it may be convenient for evidentialists to treat these two principles as independent, such an independence cannot be maintained
Keywords Ethics of belief  Evidentialism  Epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-007-9055-0
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Belief's Own Ethics.J. Adler - 2002 - MIT Press.
Why Be Rational?Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Warrant: The Current Debate.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is It Rational to Trust?Jeremy Wanderer & Leo Townsend - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):1-14.

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