Synthese 194 (8):2895-2915 (2017)

Authors
Rik Peels
VU University Amsterdam
Abstract
For decades, philosophers have displayed an interest in what it is to have an epistemically justified belief. Recently, we also find among philosophers a renewed interest in the so-called ethics of belief: what is it to believe responsibly and when is one’s belief blameworthy? This paper explores how epistemically justified belief and responsible belief are related to each other. On the so-called ‘deontological conception of epistemic justification’, they are identical: to believe epistemically responsibly is to believe epistemically justifiedly. I argue that William Alston’s criticism of a deontological conception of epistemic justification in terms of our influence on our beliefs is unconvincing. Moreover, such a conception meets three criteria that one might put forward in order for an account of epistemic justification to be plausible: it shows a concern with the Jamesian goal of having true rather than false beliefs, it is relevantly similar to accounts of justification in non-doxastic realms, such as action, and there is good reason to think that, if spelled out in sufficient detail, it may well provide a necessary condition for knowledge. I conclude that the deontological conception of epistemic justification is stronger than is often thought: it is worth exploring whether epistemically justified belief is epistemically responsible belief
Keywords William Alston  Deontologism  Doxastic control  Doxastic influence  Epistemic justification  Epistemic obligations  Intellectual obligations  Knowledge  Responsible belief
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1038-8
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References found in this work BETA

Doxastic Compatibilism and the Ethics of Belief.Sharon Ryan - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):47-79.
An Internalist Externalism.William Alston - 1988 - Synthese 74 (3):265 - 283.

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Citations of this work BETA

How to Be an Epistemic Consequentialist.Daniel J. Singer - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):580-602.
Higher-order defeat and intellectual responsibility.Ru Ye - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5435-5455.

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