A Dilemma for Higher-Level Suspension

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (4):685-699 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Is it ever rational to suspend judgment about whether a particular doxastic attitude of ours is rational? An agent who suspends about whether her attitude is rational has serious doubts that it is. These doubts place a special burden on the agent, namely, to justify maintaining her chosen attitude over others. A dilemma arises. Providing justification for maintaining the chosen attitude would commit the agent to considering the attitude rational—contrary to her suspension on the matter. Alternatively, in the absence of such justification, the attitude would be arbitrary by the agent's own lights, and therefore irrational from the agent's own perspective. So, suspending about whether an attitude of ours is rational does not cohere with considering it rationally preferable to other attitudes, and leads to a more familiar form of epistemic akrasia otherwise.

Similar books and articles

Doxastic permissiveness and the promise of truth.J. Drake - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4897-4912.
Suspending is Believing.Thomas Raleigh - 2019 - Synthese (3):1-26.
Moderate Epistemic Akrasia.Nicolás Lo Guercio - 2018 - Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 50 (148):69-97.
When in Doubt, Withhold: A Defense of Two Rational Grounds for Withholding.A. K. Flowerree - 2021 - In Kevin McCain, Scott Stapleford & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. New York, NY: Routledge.
Rational Epistemic Akrasia.Allen Coates - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (2):113-24.
Friedman on suspended judgment.Michal Masny - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5009-5026.


Added to PP

420 (#49,713)

6 months
108 (#44,884)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Eyal Tal
University of Arizona (PhD)

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Theory of knowledge.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.
Belief, Credence, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5073-5092.
Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
What We Epistemically Owe To Each Other.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):915–931.
Normative Externalism.Brian Weatherson - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

View all 45 references / Add more references