Believing the best: on doxastic partiality in friendship

Synthese 196 (4):1575-1593 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Some philosophers argue that friendship can normatively require us to have certain beliefs about our friends that epistemic norms would prohibit. On this view, we ought to exhibit some degree of doxastic partiality toward our friends, by having certain generally favorable beliefs and doxastic dispositions that concern our friends that we would not have concerning relevantly similar non-friends. Can friendship genuinely make these normative demands on our beliefs, in ways that would conflict with what we epistemically ought to believe? On a widely influential evidentialist approach to thinking about epistemic norms, friendship cannot normatively require things of our beliefs, because friendship cannot generate reasons for belief. And this is due, in part, to the alleged fact that we are incapable of forming beliefs directly in response to, or on the basis of, non-epistemic reasons. In this paper, I argue that this evidentialist response to alleged cases of conflict between friendship and epistemic norms fails. Instead, I argue that friendship cannot generate reasons for belief due to an underappreciated feature of friendship: that being a good friend constitutively involves forming attitudes about one’s friends that are appropriately responsive to the features that one’s friends have that appear to warrant those attitudes. I argue that this feature of friendship helps explain why friendship cannot give us reasons to have beliefs that are doxastically partial.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,264

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Friendship and epistemic norms.Jason Kawall - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):349-370.
Friendship without partiality?Troy Jollimore - 2000 - Ratio 13 (1):69–82.
Friendship.Bennett W. Helm - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Thinking about friendship: historical and contemporary philosophical perspectives.Damian Caluori (ed.) - 2012 - Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave-Macmillan.
The Advantages of Civic Friendship.Joyce L. Jenkins - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24:459-471.
The Advantages of Civic Friendship.Joyce L. Jenkins - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24:459-471.
After Friendship.Mary Healy - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (4).
After Friendship.Mary Healy - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 51 (1):161-176.
The Source and Robustness of Duties of Friendship.Robbie Arrell - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (2):166-183.
Friendship and Belief.Simon Keller - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (3):329-351.


Added to PP

96 (#130,271)

6 months
7 (#117,109)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lindsay Crawford
Connecticut College

References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Internal and External Reasons.Bernard Williams - 1979 - In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-113.
Why be rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
From Normativity to Responsibility.Joseph Raz - 2011 - Oxford University Press.

View all 26 references / Add more references