Midwest Studies in Philosophy 45:257-290 (2021)

Authors
David Shatz
Yeshiva University
Abstract
One of the most salient features of epistemology in the past two decades—in fact, perhaps the most salient—is the explosion of literature on how higher-order evidence impacts the rationality of one’s first-order beliefs. Higher-order evidence is, primarily, evidence about what one’s evidence supports. An important concept in the debate is epistemic akrasia. Roughly, the akrates believes: “p, but my evidence does not support p.” Criticisms of epistemic akrasia have focused on certain sorts of mundane examples. They have generally scanted the role that akrasia plays in large classical epistemological issues concerning “Grand Epistemic Narratives,” notably skepticism and relativism. Additionally, akrasia may enter into the enterprise of revisionary metaphysics; and, finally, into the practice of philosophers who hold beliefs in the face of wide peer disagreement. This paper thus illustrates the relevance of epistemic akrasia to important philosophical issues. It leaves us, moreover, with a significant measure of puzzlement.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/msp2021101214
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