epistemic reasons

ARE EPISTEMIC REASONS EVER REASONS TO PROMOTE? (pages 353–360)

Submitted by logos on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 17:27
paper title: 

ARE EPISTEMIC REASONS EVER REASONS TO PROMOTE? (pages 353–360)

paper type: 
debate
paper author: 

Clayton LITTLEJOHN

paper author family name: 

LITTLEJOHN

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: In trying to distinguish the right kinds of reasons from the wrong, epistemologists often appeal to the connection to truth to explain why practical considerations cannot constitute reasons. The view they typically opt for is one on which only evidence can constitute a reason to believe. Brian Talbot has shown that these approaches don’t exclude the possibility that there are non-evidential reasons for belief that can justify a belief without being evidence for that belief. He thinks that there are indeed such reasons and that they are the right kind of reasons to justify belief. The existence of such truth promoting non-epistemic reasons is said to follow from the fact that we have an epistemic end that involves the attainment of true belief. I shall argue that there are no such reasons precisely because there is an epistemic end that has normative authority. 

paper issue: 
13
paper title: 

PEER DISAGREEMENT AND THE LIMITS OF COHERENT ERROR ATTRIBUTION (pages 179–197)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

Nicholas TEBBEN

paper author family name: 

TEBBEN

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: I argue that, in an important range of cases, judging that one disagrees with an epistemic peer requires attributing, either to one's peer or to oneself, a failure of rationality. There are limits, however, to how much irrationality one can coherently attribute, either to oneself or to another. I argue that these limitations on the coherent attribution of rational error put constraints on permissible responses to peer disagreement. In particular, they provide reason to respond to one-off disagreements with a single peer by maintaining one's beliefs, and they provide reason to moderate one's beliefs when faced with repeated disagreement, or disagreement with multiple peers. Finally, I argue that, though peer disagreement is rare, the occasions on which it does occur tend to be especially important, and the kind of response supported here is correspondingly important. In particular, how leading researchers spend their time and effort depends, in part, on how they respond to peer disagreement. And only a response of the kind supported here strikes the right balance between allowing individual researchers to freely pursue what seems to them to be worthwhile projects, and requiring that they pursue those research projects that the community of experts as a whole believes to be likely to yield significant results.

paper issue: 
12

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