Noncognitivism and the Frege‐Geach Problem in Formal Epistemology

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):184-208 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper makes explicit the way in which many theorists of the epistemology of uncertainty, or formal epistemologists, are committed to a version of noncognitivism—one about thoughts that something is likely. It does so by drawing an analogy with metaethical noncognitivism. I explore the degree to which the motivations for both views are similar and how both views have to grapple with the Frege‐Geach Problem about complex thoughts. The major upshot of recognizing this noncognitivism is that it presents challenges and opportunities not only in the philosophy of mind and language but also in epistemology itself. I present some examples where attention to the implicit noncognitivism in formal epistemology has affected or should affect epistemological theory. And I suggest that it is likely that further examples of this sort will arise.

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Benjamin Lennertz
Colgate University

Citations of this work

Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.
Probabilistic Antecedents and Conditional Attitudes.Benjamin Lennertz - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):62-79.
A Defence of the Evolutionary Debunking Argument.Man Him Ip - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham

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References found in this work

Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Wise Choices, Apt Feelings.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Ethics 102 (2):342-356.
Assertion.Peter Geach - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (4):449-465.
A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism.James M. Joyce - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.

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