Rational Belief and Normative Commitments
Rabin Observatory, Rabin Building
University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel
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If epistemological theories are normative, i.e. if they tell us what we ought to believe and which epistemic practices we ought to adopt, the question arises how the normativity of epistemological theories relates to normativity elsewhere. On the one hand non-epistemic normativity might influence our conception of rational belief itself. Some philosophers have argued that the normative commitments of, for example, friendship, influence what we ought to believe about our friends. Advocating such a form of epistemic partiality would need safeguards to exclude other forms of illegitimate bias. If trust were based on non-epistemic commitments, this would be another way in which non-epistemic commitments would influence what we should rationally believe. On the other hand, non-epistemic normativity might be at the very foundation of epistemic normativity. It would be, if one argued that our duty to believe in accordance with the evidence is based on general moral and prudential duties. This conference will explore the relation between rational belief and non-epistemic commitments and will, thereby, contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between epistemology and ethics.
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