A defence of epistemic responsibility: why laziness and ignorance are bad after all

Synthese 191 (14):3297-3309 (2014)
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It has been suggested, by Michael Bishop, that empirical evidence on human reasoning poses a threat to the internalist account of epistemic responsibility, which he takes to associate being epistemically responsible with coherence, evidence-fitting and reasons-responsiveness. Bishop claims that the empirical data challenges the importance of meeting these criteria by emphasising how it is possible to obtain true beliefs by diverging from them. He suggests that the internalist conception of responsibility should be replaced by one that properly reflects how we can reliably obtain true beliefs. In this paper I defend the internalist account by arguing that Bishop has misinterpreted the relevance of the empirical evidence to the philosophical theory. I argue that the empirical data actually provides support for the idea that, if we want to obtain true beliefs by being responsible, we should aim to meet the criteria that internalists associate with epistemic responsibility



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Katherine Puddifoot
Durham University

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