Mind 119 (473):83-102 (2010)

Mark T. Nelson
Westmont College
In ethics, it is commonly supposed that we have both positive duties and negative duties, things we ought to do and things we ought not to do. Given the many parallels between ethics and epistemology, we might suppose that the same is true in epistemology, and that we have both positive epistemic duties and negative epistemic duties. I argue that this is false; that is, that we have negative epistemic duties, but no positive ones. There are things that we ought not to believe, but there is nothing that we ought to believe, on purely epistemic grounds. I also consider why the parallels between ethics and epistemology break down at this particular point, suggesting that it is due to what I call the infinite justificational ‘fecundity’ of perceptual and propositional evidence
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzp148
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References found in this work BETA

Ethical Consistency.B. A. O. Williams & W. F. Atkinson - 1965 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 39 (1):103-138.
Logical Reasons.Pascal Engel - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (1):21 – 38.
Moral Scepticism and Inductive Scepticism.Robert Black - 1990 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 90:65 - 82.
What Justification Could Not Be.Mark T. Nelson - 2002 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (3):265 – 281.
Intuitionism in Meta-Epistemology.Jonathan Dancy - 1982 - Philosophical Studies 42 (3):395 - 408.

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Citations of this work BETA

Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 181-205.
The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dilemmic Epistemology.Nick Hughes - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4059-4090.
The Epistemic and the Zetetic.Jane Friedman - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (4):501-536.

View all 55 citations / Add more citations

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