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James Fritz
Virginia Commonwealth University
  1. Pragmatic Encroachment and Moral Encroachment.James Fritz - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):643-661.
    Subject-sensitive invariantism posits surprising connections between a person’s knowledge and features of her environment that are not paradigmatically epistemic features. But which features of a person’s environment have this distinctive connection to knowledge? Traditional defenses of subject-sensitive invariantism emphasize features that matter to the subject of the knowledge-attribution. Call this pragmatic encroachment. A more radical thesis usually goes ignored: knowledge is sensitive to moral facts, whether or not those moral facts matter to the subject. Call this moral encroachment. This paper (...)
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  2. Moral Encroachment and Reasons of the Wrong Kind.James Fritz - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3051-3070.
    According to the view that there is moral encroachment in epistemology, whether a person has knowledge of p sometimes depends on moral considerations, including moral considerations that do not bear on the truth or likelihood of p. Defenders of moral encroachment face a central challenge: they must explain why the moral considerations they cite, unlike moral bribes for belief, are reasons of the right kind for belief (or withheld belief). This paper distinguishes between a moderate and a radical version of (...)
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  3. Conciliationism and Moral Spinelessness.James Fritz - 2018 - Episteme 15 (1):101-118.
    This paper presents a challenge to conciliationist views of disagreement. I argue that conciliationists cannot satisfactorily explain why we need not revise our beliefs in response to certain moral disagreements. Conciliationists can attempt to meet this challenge in one of two ways. First, they can individuate disputes narrowly. This allows them to argue that we have dispute-independent reason to distrust our opponents’ moral judgment. This approach threatens to license objectionable dogmatism. It also inappropriately gives deep epistemic significance to superficial questions (...)
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    What Pessimism About Moral Deference Means for Disagreement.James Fritz - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):121-136.
    Many writers have recently argued that there is something distinctively problematic about sustaining moral beliefs on the basis of others’ moral views. Call this claim pessimism about moral deference. Pessimism about moral deference, if true, seems to provide an attractive way to argue for a bold conclusion about moral disagreement: moral disagreement generally does not require belief revision. Call this claim steadfastness about moral disagreement. Perhaps the most prominent recent discussion of the connection between moral deference and moral disagreement, due (...)
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  5. Moral Steadfastness and Meta-Ethics.James Fritz & Tristram McPherson - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):43-56.
    Call the following claim Asymmetry: rationality often requires a more steadfast response to pure moral disagreement than it does to otherwise analogous non-moral disagreement. This paper briefly motivates Asymmetry and explores its implications for meta-ethics. Some philosophers have thought that anti-realists are better-placed than realists to explain Asymmetry because, if anti-realism is true, disagreement cannot provide evidence against the reliability of one's thinking about objective moral facts. This paper argues that this simple diagnosis fails to support otherwise plausible anti-realisms. It (...)
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  6. Akrasia and Epistemic Impurism.James Fritz - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (1):98-116.
    This essay provides a novel argument for impurism, the view that certain non-truth-relevant factors can make a difference to a belief's epistemic standing. I argue that purists, unlike impurists, are forced to claim that certain ‘high-stakes’ cases rationally require agents to be akratic. Akrasia is one of the paradigmatic forms of irrationality. So purists, in virtue of calling akrasia rationally mandatory in a range of cases with no obvious precedent, take on a serious theoretical cost. By focusing on akrasia, and (...)
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  7. Ethics and Epistemic Hopelessness.James Fritz - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper investigates the ethics of regarding others as epistemically hopeless. To regard a person as epistemically hopeless with respect to p is, roughly, to regard her as unable to see the truth of p through rational means. Regarding a person as epistemically hopeless is a stance that has surprising and nuanced moral implications. It can be a sign of respect, and it can also be a way of giving up on someone. Whether it is morally problematic to take up (...)
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    Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action.James Fritz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    If there is pragmatic encroachment in epistemology, whether a person knows that p can vary with normative facts about her actions—including facts that do not bear on the truth or likelihood of p. This paper raises an underappreciated question for defenders of pragmatic encroachment: which of the many norms on action are distinctively connected to knowledge? To the extent that contemporary defenders of pragmatic encroachment address this question, they do so by citing norms of ‘practical rationality.’ I show that this (...)
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    Online Shaming and the Ethics of Public Disapproval.James Fritz - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    This paper illuminates an underappreciated tension between two desiderata for moral disapproval. First, moral disapproval should aspire to openness. This means, among other things, that it should aspire not to require silence from wronged parties. Second, moral disapproval should aspire to decency. This means, among other things, that it should not predictably cause psychological harm in a way that alienates or isolates people from their moral community. I illustrate the tension between these desiderata within the context of online shaming, and (...)
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  10. Belief, Credence, and Moral Encroachment.Elizabeth Jackson & James Fritz - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Radical moral encroachment is the view that belief itself is morally evaluable, and that some moral properties of belief itself make a difference to epistemic rationality. To date, almost all proponents of radical moral encroachment hold to an asymmetry thesis: the moral encroaches on rational belief, but not on rational credence. In this paper, we argue against the asymmetry thesis; we show that, insofar as one accepts the most prominent arguments for radical moral encroachment on belief, one should likewise accept (...)
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