Philosophical Studies 157 (2):251-266 (2012)

Authors
Todd R. Long
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Abstract
Michael Bergmann seeks to motivate his externalist, proper function theory of epistemic justification by providing three objections to the mentalism and mentalist evidentialism characteristic of nonexternalists such as Richard Feldman and Earl Conee. Bergmann argues that (i) mentalism is committed to the false thesis that justification depends on mental states; (ii) mentalism is committed to the false thesis that the epistemic fittingness of an epistemic input to a belief-forming process must be due to an essential feature of that input, and, relatedly, that mentalist evidentialism is committed to the false thesis that the epistemic fittingness of doxastic response B to evidence E is an essential property of B–E; and (iii) mentalist evidentialism is “unmotivated”. I object to each argument. The argument for (i) begs the question. The argument for (ii) suffers from the fact that mentalist evidentialists are not committed to the consequences claimed for them; nevertheless, I show that there is, in the neighborhood, a substantive dispute concerning the nature of doxastic epistemic fittingness. That dispute involves what I call “Necessary Fittingness”, the view that, necessarily, exactly one (at most) doxastic attitude ( belief , or disbelief , or suspension of judgment ) toward a proposition is epistemically fitting with respect to a person’s total evidence at any time. Reflection on my super-blooper epistemic design counterexamples to Bergmann’s proper function theory reveals both the plausibility of Necessary Fittingness and a good reason to deny (iii). Mentalist evidentialism is thus vindicated against the objections
Keywords Mentalism  Evidentialism  Epistemic fittingness  Proper function justification  Bergmann  Feldman  Conee
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9635-8
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,676
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Evidentialism, Vice, and Virtue.Jason Baehr - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (3):545-567.
Evidentialism Versus Faith.John Zeis - 2010 - Social Epistemology 24 (1):1 – 13.
The Phenomenal Basis of Epistemic Justification.Declan Smithies - 2014 - In Jesper Kallestrup & Mark Sprevak (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind. Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 98-124.
(More) Springs of My Discontent.Guy Axtell - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (1):131-137.
Evidentialism and Faith: Believing in Order to Know.John Zeis - 2006 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:185-200.
Evidentialism and Faith.John Zeis - 2006 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:185-200.
Truth as the Aim of Epistemic Justification.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2013 - In Timothy Chan (ed.), The Aim of Belief. Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-11-18

Total views
92 ( #105,177 of 2,386,740 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #88,552 of 2,386,740 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes