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New Direction for Epistemic Normativity

English title New Direction for Epistemic Normativity
Applicant Logins Arturs
Number 171464
Funding scheme Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution School of Philosophy University of Southern California
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.07.2017 - 30.06.2018
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Keywords (10)

knowledge-first; knowledge; epistemic normativity; epistemic justification; reasons-first; belief; croyance; connaissance; raisons; normes

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le savoir a une rôle normative. Ce qu'on sait détermine ce qu'on peut et ce qu'on doit croire. Par exemple, il semble absurde pour moi d'avoir une croyance "il pleut dehors et je ne sais pas qu'il pleut dehors". Il y a quelque chose de problématique avec une telle croyance. Malheureusement, l'épistémologie contemporaine n'est pas en mesure d'expliquer comment exactement la connaissance détermine ce que nous devons ou avons droit de croire. Ce projet vise à remplir ce vide et avancer ainsi notre compréhension des aspects normatifs de croyances.
Lay summary

Selon une approche récente, la connaissance est la norme de la croyance. Autrement dit, nous devons croire quelque chose si et seulement si nous nous le savons. Ainsi, si je ne sais pas qu'il pleut dehors, je n'ai pas droit de le croire. Cette approche, se focalisant sur la norme de connaissance, certes, permet de répondre comment la connaissance détermine ce que nous devons ou avons droit de croire, mais le prix qu'elle est prête à payer est important. En effet, peu de personnes seront d'accord que lorsque nous nous trompons de façon involontaire (par exemple, dans le cas d'une illusion très vraisemblable), nous n'avons aucun droit de croire ce que nous croyons.

L'approche que ce projet vise à explorer consiste à réviser le présupposé normatif de l'approche de la norme de la connaissance. Peut être que nous pouvons conceptualiser les aspects normatifs de croyances sans faire appel à une norme à laquelle toute croyance doit se conformer. La proposition est d'explorer des alternatives possibles. Notamment, une approche, inspiré de débats méta-normatifs, consiste à prendre comme le concept normatif le plus fondamental non pas le concept de "devoir" ou "norme", mais le concept de "raison de faire X". D'autres éléments pertinents de débat de philosophie légale et normative en générale (comme l'importance de différence entre responsabilité, excuses, et justifications) seront pris en compte pour explorer des nouvelles directions pour la normativité en épistémologie.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 14.06.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Subjective Unpossessed ReasonsSubjective Unpossessed Reasons
Logins Artūrs (2018), Subjective Unpossessed ReasonsSubjective Unpossessed Reasons, in Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, 1-9.
Justification épistémique (Grand Public)
Logins Arturs (2018), Justification épistémique (Grand Public), Encyclo-Philo, France.
La rectitude de la croyance : la vérité et les degrés
Logins Arturs, La rectitude de la croyance : la vérité et les degrés, in Klesis, NA.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Le huitième congrès de la Société de philosophie analytique (SoPhA) Talk given at a conference Confidence Lost, Justification Reclaimed: A New Diagnosis for the Lottery Paradox 02.07.2018 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium Logins Arturs;
The 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford University Talk given at a conference Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking 03.06.2018 Stanford University, United States of America Logins Arturs;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television Is Nessie Really Out?, in Charles Adler Tonight, the evening, national program on Corus Radio Corus Radio, Vancouver, Canada International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Why won’t scientific evidence change the minds of Loch Ness monster true believers? The Conversation International 2018

Abstract

Knowledge plays a central role in the common sense assessments of beliefs. Consider, a subject who believes the following: “It is raining, and I don't know that it is raining”. Intuitively, there is something wrong with such a belief. The most promising explanation of the negative evaluation of this belief is that subject cannot know what she believes. If the subject knows the first conjunct (“It is raining”), the second conjunct (“I don't know that it is raining”) must be false. In such a case the conjunction is false and cannot be known. If the second conjunct is true, then the subject cannot know that it is raining and, again, cannot know the conjunction. Hence, the belief “It is raining, and I don't know that it is raining” can never constitute knowledge (even if it happens to be true) and this is why it appears intuitively to be inappropriate. This and similar cases suggest that knowledge plays a normative role in assessment of our beliefs.Currently the normative role of knowledge in assessments of beliefs stands unexplained. On the one hand, the received view in contemporary philosophy doesn't attribute any normative role to knowledge. According to the traditional view knowledge can be analyzed in terms of justified true belief. Traditional views don't appeal to knowledge in explaining, for instance, epistemic justification, the most prominent normative property in epistemology. The received view has also its own problems. Its simple form has been refuted by the Gettier cases (cf. Gettier 1969), and given the current state of the debate the prospects of the numerous attempts to improve on the traditional account seem bleak. On the other hand, a recent alternative, the knowledge-first approach, does place knowledge at the central and fundamental level of epistemological theorizing and aim to explain epistemic justification in terms of knowledge. This is a promising step towards understanding the normative role of knowledge. However, the existing knowledge-first accounts of justification are unconvincing given their implausible consequences for normative guidance and cases of deception. Importantly, some of these consequences are due to the reliance of the knowledge-first accounts on rather specific views about the structure of epistemic normativity (there being a fundamental norm of belief) and justification being a sort of permissibility or compliance with a norm.This leads naturally to a question about prospects of an explanation of the normative role of knowledge that combines some knowledge-first ideas with alternative proposals about the structure of epistemic normativity. Surprisingly, the prospects of such approach has not yet been seriously investigated.This project undertakes exactly this task. Drawing from the rich literature in meta-ethics, philosophy of law, and practical normativity, I propose in this project to revisit fundamental assumptions about epistemic normativity in the light of recent developments that put knowledge in the centre of epistemology. I propose to explore new directions in thinking about epistemic justification and epistemic normativity in terms of normative reasons and to develop an account that gives due respect to the centrality of knowledge in assessment of beliefs.
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