Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):243-269 (2013)

Thomas Raleigh
University of Luxembourg
I defend the thesis that beliefs are constitutively normative from two kinds of objection. After clarifying what a “blindspot” proposition is and the different types of blindspots there can be, I show that the existence of such propositions does not undermine the thesis that beliefs are essentially governed by a negative truth norm. I argue that the “normative variance” exhibited by this norm is not a defect. I also argue that if we accept a distinction between subjective and objective norms there need be no worrying tension between doxastic norms of truth and doxastic norms of evidence. I show how a similar approach applies to the attitude of guessing. I then suggest that if we distinguish between practical and theoretical rationality, we will prefer a negative form of norm that does not positively oblige us to form beliefs. I finish by considering an alternative possible subjunctive form of norm that would also avoid problems with blindspots but suggest this has a non-intuitive consequence.
Keywords Epistemology  Philosophy of Mind  Normativity  Rationality  Normative Variance  Epistemic Norms  Aiming at Truth
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DOI 10.1111/sjp.12015
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Doxastic Deliberation.Nishi Shah & J. David Velleman - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):497-534.
Blindspots.Roy A. Sorensen - 1988 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Normativity of Belief.Conor McHugh & Daniel Whiting - 2014 - Analysis 74 (4):698-713.
Should I believe all the truths?Alexander Greenberg - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3279-3303.
No, One Should Not Believe All Truths.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (9-10):1091-1103.

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