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New Directions for Epistemic Normativity

English title New Directions for Epistemic Normativity
Applicant Logins Arturs
Number 171466
Funding scheme Return CH Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Département de Philosophie Faculté des Lettres Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.07.2018 - 31.12.2018
Approved amount 50'948.00
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Keywords (8)

epistemic justification; epistemic normativity; knowledge-first; knowledge; belief; reasons-first; belief; confidence

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le savoir a une rôle normative. Ce qu'on sait est important pour voir 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". 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 du rôle normatif de la connaissance.
Lay summary

Selon l'approche dite de "connaissance d'abord", la connaissance est la norme de la croyance. Selon cette appriche il n'est pas permis de croire ce que nous ne savons pas, seules les croyances qui parvient à constituter la connaissance sont épistemiquement permises ou justifiés. Ainsi, si je ne sais pas qu'il pleut dehors, je n'ai pas droit de le croire. Malgré sa simplicité et élégance théorique, cette approche soulève un nombre de questions. 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 stricte 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 normative 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. Une autre approche prometeuse est de revisiter notre compréhension philosophique de concept de 'croyance' et de voir dans quel sens la connaissance détermine ce que nous pouvons 'croire' ou de quoi nous pouvons 'être confiants'. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.04.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Subjective Unpossessed Reasons
Logins Artūrs (2018), Subjective Unpossessed Reasons, in Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, 7(4), 262-270.
Review of Mark McBride Basic Knowledge and Conditions on Knowledge
LoginsArtūrs, Review of Mark McBride Basic Knowledge and Conditions on Knowledge, Wiley Blackwell, Dialectica.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Groupe GRE de la chaire "Métaphysique et philosophie de la connaissance" (Collège de France) France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Quadlibeta : departmental colloquia Individual talk Emotional Lotteries and Problems of Confidence : a new approach to the Lottery Paradox 25.10.2018 Department of philosophy, University of Geneva, Switzerland Logins Arturs;
Thumos Seminar, CISA Individual talk Reasons without (good) reasoning 20.09.2018 University of Geneva, Switzerland Logins Arturs;
Colloque du Groupe de Recherche en Epistémologie de la chaire "Métaphysique et philosophie de la connaissance" (Collège de France) Talk given at a conference Les raisons sans le raisonnement 11.09.2018 Paris, France Logins Arturs;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Vai liberāļu strīds par balsu izšķiešanu ir racionāls ? Satori.lv 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 analysed 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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