Lecture 4: Should Have Known and Epistemic Appropriateness of BeliefMatthew McGrath (Washington University in St. Louis)
Evidence and Epistemic Norms
Nietzsche Hall (B1)
No.85, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd.,
•Abstract: The final lecture turns to evidence-critical claims about what we should or shouldn’t believe. It asks whether such claims are epistemic in a strict sense that is connected to the notion of knowledge. I ask: does the evidence one should have had matter to what one epistemically should or shouldn’t have believed? My response has two parts. First, in a strict sense, the answer is no. Only evidence-uncritical claims about what we should or shouldn’t believe are epistemic, not evidence-critical claims. However, we should not think that evidence-critical claims rely on some entirely distinct form of normativity – chocolate as opposed to vanilla, if you will. Rather, and this is the second claim, evidence-critical claims about what we should or shouldn’t believe depend for their truth both on strictly non-epistemic norms concerning evidence possession and on a strictly epistemic norms concerning belief given one’s evidence (and abilities and opportunities). The resulting position could be expressed this way: being a good doctor, a good parent, a good inquirer consists in part but not in whole in believing in an epistemically appropriate way on the relevant issues.
•Note: This lecture serves as the keynote speech of the Fifth Taiwan Philosophical Colloquium (https://philevents.org/event/show/112466)