Doxastic permissiveness and the promise of truth

Synthese 194 (12):4897-4912 (2017)
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The purpose of this paper is to challenge what is often called the “Uniqueness” thesis. According to this thesis, given one’s total evidence, there is a unique rational doxastic attitude that one can take to any proposition. It is sensible for defenders of Uniqueness to commit to an accompanying principle that: when some agent A has equal epistemic reason both to believe that p and to believe that not p, the unique epistemically rational doxastic attitude for A to adopt with respect to whether p is the suspension of judgment. In this paper, I offer a case wherein the agent has equal epistemic reason both to believe that p and to believe that not p, but the agent is not epistemically required to suspend judgment about whether p. Furthermore, the case is such that there seems to be no uniquely rational attitude for the agent to adopt.

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J. Drake
Creighton University

Citations of this work

Knowledge-First Evidentialism and the Dilemmas of Self-Impact.Paul Silva Jr & Eyal Tal - 2021 - In Kevin McCain, Scott Stapleford & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. New York, NY: Routledge.
Closing the Case on Self-Fulfilling Beliefs.Chad Marxen - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):1-14.
Surprising Suspensions: The Epistemic Value of Being Ignorant.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Alleged Counterexamples to Uniqueness.Ryan Ross - 2021 - Logos and Episteme 12 (2):203-13.

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References found in this work

Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Reflection and disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Epistemology of disagreement : the good news.David Christensen - 2019 - In Jeremy Fantl, Matthew McGrath & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Contemporary epistemology: an anthology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Peer disagreement and higher order evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2011 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 183--217.

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