Evidentialism and pragmatic constraints on outright belief

Philosophical Studies 139 (3):441 - 458 (2008)
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Abstract

Evidentialism is the view that facts about whether or not an agent is justified in having a particular belief are entirely determined by facts about the agent’s evidence; the agent’s practical needs and interests are irrelevant. I examine an array of arguments against evidentialism (by Jeremy Fantl, Matthew McGrath, David Owens, and others), and demonstrate how their force is affected when we take into account the relation between degrees of belief and outright belief. Once we are sensitive to one of the factors that secure thresholds for outright believing (namely, outright believing that p in a given circumstance requires, at the minimum, that one’s degree of belief that p is high enough for one to be willing to act as if p in the circumstances), we see how pragmatic considerations can be relevant to facts about whether or not an agent is justified in believing that p—but largely as a consequence of the pragmatic constraints on outright believing.

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Dorit Ganson
Oberlin College

Citations of this work

Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Inquiry and Belief.Jane Friedman - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):296-315.
Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.

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