Biological Function and Epistemic Normativity

Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):94-110 (2017)

Authors
Ema Sullivan-Bissett
University of Birmingham
Abstract
I give a biological account of epistemic normativity. My account explains the sense in which it is true that belief is subject to a standard of correctness, and reduces epistemic norms to there being doxastic strategies which guide how best to meet that standard. Additionally, I give an explanation of the mistakes we make in our epistemic discourse, understood as either taking epistemic properties and norms to be sui generis and irreducible, and/or as failing to recognize the reductive base of epistemic normativity. This explanation will appeal to the claim that the beliefs which constitute our epistemic discourse are false but adaptive, and are the outcome of a non-truth tracking process. The opponents of my position are philosophers who take epistemic normativity not to be reducible in this way, and to involve sui generis properties and norms governing belief. The aim of the paper is to show that epistemic normativity can be explained by appeal to the biological functions of our mechanisms of belief-production.
Keywords Truth  Function  Normativity  Epistemic norms
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/13869795.2017.1287296
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,686
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Myth of Morality.Richard Joyce - 2001 - Mind 113 (452):760-763.
Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong.J. L. Mackie - 1977 - Erkenntnis 18 (3):425-430.

View all 51 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Biased by Our Imaginings.Ema Sullivan‐Bissett - forthcoming - Mind and Language.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
Hypothetical and Categorical Epistemic Normativity.Chase B. Wrenn - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):273-290.
Epistemic Instrumentalism, Permissibility, and Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press. pp. 260-280.
Epistemic Normativity.Stephen R. Grimm - 2009 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 243-264.
Epistemic Normativity.Hilary Kornblith - 1993 - Synthese 94 (3):357 - 376.
Knowledge and Other Norms for Assertion, Action, and Belief: A Teleological Account.Neil Mehta - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):681-705.
Epistemic Value and Virtue Epistemology.Tsung-Hsing Ho - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Southampton
Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Too Few Reasons Objection.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):337-355.
A Case for Epistemic Agency.Dustin Olson - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (4):449-474.
Expressivism and Convention-Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In A. Fairweather & O. Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press.
Epistemic Consequentialism.Jeff Dunn - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-09-15

Total views
37 ( #216,427 of 2,243,064 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #159,779 of 2,243,064 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature