Embracing Epistemic Dilemmas

In Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles (2021)
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Abstract

This paper concentrates on a particular sort of case where it’s plausible that epistemic requirements can conflict: cases where an agent’s higher-order evidence supports doubting her reliability in reacting to her ordinary evidence. Conflicting epistemic requirements can be seen as generating epistemic dilemmas. The paper examines two ways that people have sought to recognize conflicting requirements without allowing them to generate epistemic dilemmas: separating epistemic norms into two different varieties, and positing rational indeterminacy in cases where principles conflict. It argues that these views incur costs, and that the sense in which they avoid dilemmas does not gain them an advantage over a view that simply recognizes dilemmas as a natural outgrowth of agents’ rational reflection on their own thinking.

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David Christensen
Brown University

Citations of this work

Epistemic Dilemmas: A Guide.Nick Hughes - forthcoming - In Essays on Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Akrasia: No Apology Required.David Christensen - 2022 - Noûs 1 (online first):1-22.
Rationality for the Self-Aware (Ernest Sosa Lecture).David Christensen - 2021 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 95:215-236.

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References found in this work

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
Higher Order Evidence.David Christensen - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):185-215.

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