Three challenges (and three replies) to the ethics of belief

Synthese 168 (2):249 - 271 (2009)
Abstract
In this paper I look at three challenges to the very possibility of an ethics of belief and then show how they can be met. The first challenge, from Thomas Kelly, says that epistemic rationality is not (merely) a form of instrumental rationality. If this claim is true, then it will be difficult to develop an ethics of belief that does not run afoul of naturalism. The second challenge is the Non-Voluntarism Argument, which holds that because we cannot believe at will and because ought implies can, there can be no ethics of belief. The third challenge comes from Richard Feldman, who claims that there is no such thing as ought all-things-considered. He says, for example, that moral oughts can be weighed against other moral oughts and that epistemic oughts can be compared to each other, but that there is no way to weigh moral oughts against epistemic oughts. If this is true, then norms about what one ought to believe are not nearly as important as one might have hoped or as philosophers have traditionally thought. In answering these three challenges, I try to show how and why the project of developing epistemic norms might be a promising avenue of research, despite claims to the contrary.
Keywords Ethics of belief  Rationality  Epistemology  Voluntarism  Value  Normativity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-008-9394-7
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,157
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Nature of Rationality.Robert Nozick - 1993 - Princeton University Press.
Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
The Naturalists Return.Philip Kitcher - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (1):53-114.
The Ethics of Belief.Richard Feldman - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.
Doxastic Compatibilism and the Ethics of Belief.Sharon Ryan - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):47-79.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
No Exception for Belief.Susanna Rinard - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):121-143.
Epistemic Ought is a Commensurable Ought.Anthony Robert Booth - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):529-539.
What Can We Learn From Buridan's Ass?Ruth Weintraub - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (3):281-301.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite.Thomas Kelly - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465–474.
Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
The Ethics of Belief.Andrew Chignell - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
An Improper Introduction to Epistemic Utility Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2011 - In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Proceedings of EPSA: Amsterdam '09. Springer. pp. 287--301.
Ought to Believe.Matthew Chrisman - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):346-370.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

185 ( #24,283 of 2,171,972 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #56,773 of 2,171,972 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums