In Jonathan Matheson & Rico Vitz (eds.), The Ethics of Belief
. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 130–145 (2014
This chapter examines an evidentialist ethics of belief, and W. K. Clifford’s proposal in particular. It argues that regardless of how one understands the notion of evidence, it is implausible that we could have a moral obligation to refrain from believing something whenever we lack sufficient evidence. Alternatively, this chapter argues that there are wide-scope conditional requirements on beliefs but that these requirements can be met without having sufficient evidence for the belief in question. It then argues that we are epistemically, though not morally, required to form epistemically valuable beliefs. However, these beliefs, too, need not be beliefs for which we have sufficient evidence—epistemically good beliefs need not be based on sufficient evidence.