Evidence: A Guide for the Uncertain

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):586-632 (2020)
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Abstract

Assume that it is your evidence that determines what opinions you should have. I argue that since you should take peer disagreement seriously, evidence must have two features. (1) It must sometimes warrant being modest: uncertain what your evidence warrants, and (thus) uncertain whether you’re rational. (2) But it must always warrant being guided: disposed to treat your evidence as a guide. Surprisingly, it is very difficult to vindicate both (1) and (2). But diagnosing why this is so leads to a proposal—Trust—that is weak enough to allow modesty but strong enough to yield many guiding features. In fact, I claim that Trust is the Goldilocks principle—for it is necessary and sufficient to vindicate the claim that you should always prefer to use free evidence. Upshot: Trust lays the foundations for a theory of disagreement and, more generally, an epistemology that permits self-doubt—a modest epistemology.

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Kevin Dorst
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

Epistemic Feedback Loops (Or: How Not to Get Evidence).Nick Hughes - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Higher-Order Uncertainty.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays.

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References found in this work

Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
Transformative Experience.Laurie Ann Paul - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.

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