Evidence, pragmatics, and justification

Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94 (2002)

Authors
Jeremy Fantl
University of Calgary
Matthew McGrath
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
Evidentialism is the thesis that epistemic justification for belief supervenes on evidential support. However, we claim there are cases in which, even though two subjects have the same evidential support for a proposition, only one of them is justified. What make the difference are pragmatic factors, factors having to do with our cares and concerns. Our argument against evidentialism is not based on intuitions about particular cases. Rather, we aim to provide a theoretical basis for rejecting evidentialism by defending a “pragmatic” necessary condition on epistemic justification. We argue for the following necessary condition for justification: S is justified in believing that p only if S is rational to prefer (and, hence, act) as if p. In light of this necessary condition, the price of evidentialism is skepticism, or something close to it.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.1215/00318108-111-1-67
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.
Contextualism, Skepticism, and the Structure of Reasons.Stewart Cohen - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:57-89.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.

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Citations of this work BETA

Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.

View all 219 citations / Add more citations

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