Evidence and facts about incoherence: Reply to Schmidt

Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):1-11 (2023)
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In her recent `Facts about incoherence as non-evidential epistemic reasons‘ Eva Schmidt defends the claim that not all epistemic reasons are provided by evidence. Schmidt presents three cases describing agents with incoherent beliefs and argues that, in each case, the fact that an agent’s beliefs are incoherent provides her with a non-evidential epistemic reason to suspend judgment on the issue that her beliefs are about. While I find the suggestion that facts about incoherence can play positive roles in our cognitive lives intriguing, I have three reservations about Schmidt’s view: the first concerns her conceptual framework—I think it is less neutral than it appears to be—the second concerns the view’s behavior in certain kinds of scenarios involving higher-order evidence, and the third has to do with some implausible consequences of the view. I also hint at an alternative account of the positive role of facts about incoherence.



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Aleks Knoks
University of Luxembourg

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Reasons First.Mark Schroeder - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Why be rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
Higher Order Evidence.David Christensen - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):185-215.

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