Evidence and its Limits

In Conor McHugh Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press (2018)
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Abstract

On a standard view about reasons, evidence, and justification, there is justification for you to believe all and only what your evidence supports and the reasons that determine whether there is justification to believe are all just pieces of evidence. This view is mistaken about two things. It is mistaken about the rational role of evidence. It is also mistaken about the rational role of reasons. To show this, I present two basis problems for the standard view and argue that it lacks the resources to solve these problems. It is easy to spot these mistakes once we are clear on the ontology of reasons and have a better understanding of the role that belief plays in the theory of possessed evidence. After attacking the standard view, I offer an alternative account of justification. On this view, the justificatory status of a belief is not a function of the reasons/evidence on which it is based (it might not be based on any) but is instead a function of the basis that it can provide.

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Clayton Littlejohn
Australian Catholic University

Citations of this work

Higher-Order Evidence and the Normativity of Logic.Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - In Scott Stapleford, Kevin McCain & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge.
Do epistemic reasons bear on the ought simpliciter?Susanne Mantel - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):214-227.
Evidentialism.Giada Fratantonio - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Knowledge Out of Control.Markos Valaris - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3):733-753.

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References found in this work

Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
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.
The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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