Problems for Evidential Enkrasia Are No Problem for Normative Enkrasia
Dr Paul Silva (Monash University)

August 31, 2016, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Philosophy program, La Trobe University

MAR 369 (Martin Building, Level 3, Room 369)
Plenty Road & Kingsbury Drive
Melbourne 3086


Abstract: Enkratic principles for belief forbid certain kinds of mismatch in one's first-order and higher-order doxastic attitudes. There are two kinds of mismatch commonly noted: the omissive versus the commissive variety. But there is another kind of mismatch. It has to do with the content of the mismatch. Some enkratic principles center on one's higher-order evidential beliefs, i.e. one's beliefs about what the evidence supports, while other enkratic principles center on one's higher-order normative beliefs, i.e. one's beliefs about what one is rationally required to believe. It's frequently explicitly stated, or else implicitly assumed, that there's not an important difference between evidential mismatches and normative mismatches.  I argue that this is unfounded. I show that we can conclusively undermine evidential enkratic principles with considerations that gain no traction at all against their normative counterparts. There are various upshots to this. First, there is good reason to endorse the novel idea that we ought to reject certain evidential enkratic principles, while there remains room to endorse their normative enkratic counterparts. Second, this novel position can go a long way towards making sense of two seemingly irreconcilable sets of intuitions, one which favors enkratic principles and another that opposes them. Finally, the opposition to evidential enkratic principles I develop offers novel reasons to resist the idea that evidential support relations play a fundamental role in explaning what's distinctive about epistemic rationality.

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