Belief without credence

Synthese 193 (8):2323-2351 (2016)
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Abstract

One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be enough to register all aspects of a subject’s epistemic position with respect to any given proposition. We claim this problem can be solved by introducing other doxastic attitudes—genuine representations—that differ in strength from belief. The resulting alternative picture, a kind of doxastic states pluralism, retains the central features of traditional epistemology—most saliently, an emphasis on truth as a kind of objective accuracy—while adequately accounting for rational action

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Author Profiles

Benjamin W. Jarvis
Brown University (PhD)
J. Adam Carter
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Grace Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.

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Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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