Evidence, pragmatics, and justification

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

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.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,549

External links

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

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
1,077 (#13,227)

6 months
87 (#67,672)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Jeremy Fantl
University of Calgary
Matthew McGrath
Washington University in St. Louis

Citations of this work

Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Grace Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief.Martin Smith - 2016 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

View all 344 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - New York, NY, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.
The Nature of Rationality.Robert Nozick - 1994 - Princeton University Press.
Contextualism, skepticism, and the structure of reasons.Stewart Cohen - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:57-89.

View all 26 references / Add more references