Permission to Believe: Why Permissivism Is True and What It Tells Us About Irrelevant Influences on Belief

Noûs 48 (2):193-218 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper, I begin by defending permissivism: the claim that, sometimes, there is more than one way to rationally respond to a given body of evidence. Then I argue that, if we accept permissivism, certain worries that arise as a result of learning that our beliefs were caused by the communities we grew up in, the schools we went to, or other irrelevant influences dissipate. The basic strategy is as follows: First, I try to pinpoint what makes irrelevant influences worrying and I come up with two candidate principles. I then argue that one principle should be rejected because it is inconsistent with permissivism. The principle we should accept implies that it is sometimes rational to maintain our beliefs, even upon learning that they were caused by irrelevant influences

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Miriam Schoenfield
University of Texas at Austin

Citations of this work

Rational Polarization.Kevin Dorst - 2023 - Philosophical Review 132 (3):355-458.
Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Grace Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
No Exception for Belief.Susanna Rinard - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):121-143.

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References found in this work

Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
The web of belief.W. V. Quine & J. S. Ullian - 1970 - New York,: Random House. Edited by J. S. Ullian.

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