Episteme 14 (2):147-160 (2017)

Karyn L. Freedman
University of Guelph
In this paper I argue against what I call ‘strict evidentialism’, the view that evidence is the sole factor for determining the normative status of beliefs. I argue that strict evidentialism fails to capture the uniquely subjective standpoint of believers and as a result it fails to provide us with the tools necessary to apply its own epistemic norms. In its place I develop an interest-relative theory of justification which I call quasi-evidentialism, according to which S has a justified belief that P at time t if and only if S’s evidence at time t supports P in proportion to S’s interest in P. I take interests as fixed and argue that adjusting our confidence in a proposition in the right way, given our interests, is fine-tuned through the exercise of intellectual virtue, in particular the virtue of epistemic conscientiousness. This theory refocuses epistemic responsibility in the subject and by locating agency in the cultivation of epistemic virtue it also provides a handy solution to the problem of doxastic voluntarism, insofar as the development of our epistemic virtue guides our responsiveness to reason.
Keywords Justification  Evidentialism  Virtue Epistemology
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1017/epi.2015.66
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemological Puzzles About Disagreement.Richard Feldman - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology Futures. Oxford University Press. pp. 216-236.
Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94.
Externalist Theories of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence Bonjour - 1980 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):53-73.
The Ethics of Belief.Richard Feldman - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.
Epistemology.Richard Feldman - 2003 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (2):429-429.

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