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What is Epistemic Blame?

Noûs 54 (2):389-407 (2020)

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  1. Our Epistemic Duties in Scenarios of Vaccine Mistrust.M. Inés Corbalán & Giulia Terzian - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (4):613-640.
    ABSTRACT What, if anything, should we do when someone says they don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change? Or that they worry that a COVID-19 vaccine might be dangerous? We argue that in general, we face an epistemic duty to object to such assertions, qua instances of science denial and science sceptical discourse, respectively. Our argument builds on recent discussions in social epistemology, specifically surrounding the idea that we ought to speak up against problematic assertions so as to fulfil an important (...)
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  • Epistemic Blame and the New Evil Demon Problem.Cristina Ballarini - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2475-2505.
    The New Evil Demon Problem presents a serious challenge to externalist theories of epistemic justification. In recent years, externalists have developed a number of strategies for responding to the problem. A popular line of response involves distinguishing between a belief’s being epistemically justified and a subject’s being epistemically blameless for holding it. The apparently problematic intuitions the New Evil Demon Problem elicits, proponents of this response claim, track the fact that the deceived subject is epistemically blameless for believing as she (...)
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  • Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (8):e12762.
    This paper provides a critical overview of recent work on epistemic blame. The paper identifies key features of the concept of epistemic blame and discusses two ways of motivating the importance of this concept. Four different approaches to the nature of epistemic blame are examined. Central issues surrounding the ethics and value of epistemic blame are identified and briefly explored. In addition to providing an overview of the state of the art of this growing but controversial field, the paper highlights (...)
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  • IX—Equal Opportunity: A Unifying Framework for Moral, Aesthetic, and Epistemic Responsibility.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2020 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 120 (2):203-235.
    On the one hand, there seem to be compelling parallels to moral responsibility, blameworthiness, and praiseworthiness in domains other than the moral. For example, we often praise people for their aesthetic and epistemic achievements and blame them for their failures. On the other hand, it has been argued that there is something special about the moral domain, so that at least one robust kind of responsibility can only be found there. In this paper, I argue that we can adopt a (...)
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  • On Believing Indirectly for Practical Reasons.Sebastian Schmidt - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1795-1819.
    It is often argued that there are no practical reasons for belief because we could not believe for such reasons. A recent reply by pragmatists is that we can often believe for practical reasons because we can often cause our beliefs for practical reasons. This paper reveals the limits of this recently popular strategy for defending pragmatism, and thereby reshapes the dialectical options for pragmatism. I argue that the strategy presupposes that reasons for being in non-intentional states are not reducible (...)
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  • De Minimis Normativism: A New Theory of Full Aptness.J. Adam Carter - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1):16-36.
    Full aptness is the most important concept in performance-based virtue epistemology. The structure of full aptness, in epistemology and elsewhere, is bi-levelled. At the first level, we evaluate beliefs, like performances, on the basis of whether they are successful, competent, and apt – viz., successful because competent. But the fact that aptness itself can be fragile – as it is when an apt performance could easily have been inapt – points to a higher zone of quality beyond mere aptness. To (...)
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  • Beyond Bad Beliefs.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (5):500-521.
    Philosophers have recently come to focus on explaining the phenomenon of ​bad beliefs,​ beliefs that are apparently true and well-evidenced but nevertheless objectionable. Despite this recent focus, a consensus is already forming around a particular explanation of these beliefs’ badness called ​moral encroachment​, according to which, roughly, the moral stakes engendered by bad beliefs make them particularly difficult to justify. This paper advances an alternative account not just of bad beliefs but of bad attitudes more generally according to which bad (...)
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  • Epistemic Consent and Doxastic Justification.Luis Oliveira - 2022 - In Luis Oliveira & Paul Silva (eds.), Propositional and Doxastic Justification: New Essays on Their Nature and Significance. New York: Routledge. pp. 286-312.
    My starting point is what I call the Normative Authority Conception of justification, where S is justified in their belief that p at t (to some degree n) if and only if their believing that p at t is not ruled out by epistemic norms that have normative authority over S at t. With this in mind, this paper develops an account of doxastic justification by first developing an account of the normative authority of epistemic norms. Drawing from work in (...)
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  • Who's Afraid Of Epistemic Dilemmas?Nick Hughes - forthcoming - In Scott Stapleford, Mathias Steup & Kevin McCain (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles.
    I consider a number of reasons one might think we should only accept epistemic dilemmas in our normative epistemology as a last resort and argue that none of them is compelling.
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  • There is a Distinctively Epistemic Kind of Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):518-534.
    Is there a distinctively epistemic kind of blame? It has become commonplace for epistemologists to talk about epistemic blame, and to rely on this notion for theoretical purposes. But not everyone is convinced. Some of the most compelling reasons for skepticism about epistemic blame focus on disanologies, or asymmetries, between the moral and epistemic domains. In this paper, I defend the idea that there is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. I do so primarily by developing an account of the (...)
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  • Ought to Believe, Simpliciter.Anthony Robert Booth - forthcoming - Episteme:1-13.
    According to many philosophers there are only pro tanto oughts to believe relative to a standard of assessment: there are epistemic oughts to believe, moral oughts to believe, prudential oughts to believe etc. But there are no oughts to believe simpliciter. Many of the same philosophers who hold this view, also hold that ought to believe is to be understood deontologically – such that if S violates such an ought without excuse, S is blameworthy for doing so. I here argue (...)
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  • Cognitive Projects and the Trustworthiness of Positive Truth.Matteo Zicchetti - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The aim of this paper is twofold: first, I provide a cluster of theories of truth in classical logic that is consistent with global reflection principles: the theories of positive truth. After that, I analyse the epistemic value of such theories. I do so employing the framework of cognitive projects introduced by Wright, and employed—in the context of theories of truth—by Fischer et al.. In particular, I will argue that theories of positive truth are trustworthy, analogously to the theories of (...)
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  • Blame as Performance. [REVIEW]Mona Simion - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3):7595-7614.
    This paper develops a novel account of the nature of blame: on this account, blame is a species of performance with a constitutive aim. The argument for the claim that blame is an action is speech-act theoretic: it relies on the nature of performatives and the parallelism between mental and spoken blame. I argue that the view scores well on prior plausibility and theoretical fruitfulness, in that: it rests on claims that are widely accepted across sub-disciplines, it explains the normativity (...)
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  • Two Norms of Intention: A Vindication of Williamson’s Knowledge-Action Analogy.Frank Hofmann - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (4):1-10.
    According to an important analogy between knowledge and action, as proposed by Timothy Williamson, intention aims at action just as belief aims at knowledge. This paper investigates the analogy and discusses three difficulties that it has to face. The key is to distinguish between two different norms of intention and to see that the knowledge-action analogy is concerned with one of them only, namely, the realization norm: one ought to intentionally act if one intends to act in a certain way. (...)
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  • Justifications and Excuses in Epistemology.Daniel Greco - forthcoming - Noûs.
  • Epistemic Obligations of the Laity.Boyd Millar - forthcoming - Episteme.
    Very often when the vast majority of experts agree on some scientific issue, laypeople nonetheless regularly consume articles, videos, lectures, etc., the principal claims of which are inconsistent with the expert consensus. Moreover, it is standardly assumed that it is entirely appropriate, and perhaps even obligatory, for laypeople to consume such anti-consensus material. I maintain that this standard assumption gets things backwards. Each of us is particularly vulnerable to false claims when we are not experts on some topic – such (...)
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  • Epistemic Blame and the Normativity of Evidence.Sebastian Schmidt - 2021 - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The normative force of evidence can seem puzzling. It seems that having conclusive evidence for a proposition does not, by itself, make it true that one ought to believe the proposition. But spelling out the condition that evidence must meet in order to provide us with genuine normative reasons for belief seems to lead us into a dilemma: the condition either fails to explain the normative significance of epistemic reasons or it renders the content of epistemic norms practical. The first (...)
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  • Epistemically blameworthy belief.Jessica Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3595-3614.
    When subjects violate epistemic standards or norms, we sometimes judge them blameworthy rather than blameless. For instance, we might judge a subject blameworthy for dogmatically continuing to believe a claim even after receiving evidence which undermines it. Indeed, the idea that one may be blameworthy for belief is appealed to throughout the contemporary epistemic literature. In some cases, a subject seems blameworthy for believing as she does even though it seems prima facie implausible that she is morally blameworthy or professionally (...)
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  • Standing to Epistemically Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11355-11375.
    A plausible condition on having the standing to blame someone is that the target of blame's wrongdoing must in some sense be your “business”—the wrong must in some sense harm or affect you, or others close to you. This is known as the business condition on standing to blame. Many cases of epistemic blame discussed in the literature do not obviously involve examples of someone harming or affecting another. As such, not enough has been said about how an individual's epistemic (...)
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  • The Case Against Non-Moral Blame.Benjamin Matheson & Per-Erik Milam - forthcoming - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 11.
    Non-moral blame seems to be widespread and widely accepted in everyday life—tolerated at least, but often embraced. We blame athletes for poor performance, artists for bad or boring art, scientists for faulty research, and voters for flawed reasoning. This paper argues that non-moral blame is never justified—i.e. it’s never a morally permissible response to a non-moral failure. Having explained what blame is and how non-moral blame differs from moral blame, the paper presents the argument in four steps. First, it argues (...)
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  • Conceptual Responsibility.Trystan S. Goetze - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):20-45.
    Conceptual engineering is concerned with the improvement of our concepts. The motivating thought behind many such projects is that some of our concepts are defective. But, if to use a defective concept is to do something wrong, and if to do something wrong one must be in control of what one is doing, there might be no defective concepts, since we typically are not in control of our concept use. To address this problem, this paper turns from appraising the concepts (...)
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  • The Significance of Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    One challenge in developing an account of the nature of epistemic blame is to explain what differentiates epistemic blame from mere negative epistemic evaluation. The challenge is to explain the difference, without invoking practices or behaviors that seem out of place in the epistemic domain. In this paper, I examine whether the most sophisticated recent account of the nature of epistemic blame—due to Jessica Brown—is up for the challenge. I argue that the account ultimately falls short, but does so in (...)
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  • Epistemic Judgement and Motivation.Cameron Boult & Sebastian Köhler - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):738-758.
    Is there an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism? The answer to this question has implications for our understanding of the nature of epistemic normativity. For example, some philosophers have argued from claims that epistemic judgement is not necessarily motivating to the view that epistemic judgement is not normative. This paper examines the options for spelling out an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism. It is argued that the most promising approach connects epistemic judgements to doxastic dispositions, which are related (...)
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  • Moral Encroachment and the Epistemic Impermissibility of (Some) Microaggressions.Javiera Perez Gomez - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9237-9256.
    A recent flurry of philosophical research on microaggression suggests that there are various practical and moral reasons why microaggression may be objectionable, including that it can be offensive, cause epistemic harms, express demeaning messages about certain members of our society, and help to reproduce an oppressive social order. Yet little attention has been given to the question of whether microaggression is also epistemically objectionable. This paper aims to further our understanding of microaggression by appealing to recent work on moral encroachment—the (...)
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  • What Do We Want From a Theory of Epistemic Blame?Adam Piovarchy - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):791-805.
    ABSTRACT This paper identifies a number of questions that any plausible theory of epistemic blame ought to answer. What is epistemic blame? When is someone an appropriate target of epistemic blame? And what justifies engaging in epistemic blame? I argue that a number of problems arise when we try to answer these questions by using existing conceptions of moral blame. I then consider and reject Brown’s [2020] belief-desire model of epistemic blame. Finally, I argue that an agency-cultivation model of moral (...)
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  • Groundwork for a Fallibilist Account of Mathematics.Silvia De Toffoli - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 7 (4):823-844.
    According to the received view, genuine mathematical justification derives from proofs. In this article, I challenge this view. First, I sketch a notion of proof that cannot be reduced to deduction from the axioms but rather is tailored to human agents. Secondly, I identify a tension between the received view and mathematical practice. In some cases, cognitively diligent, well-functioning mathematicians go wrong. In these cases, it is plausible to think that proof sets the bar for justification too high. I then (...)
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  • The Gift of Testimony.Alessandra Tanesini - 2020 - Episteme 17 (3):331-348.
    In this paper I argue that in Western contemporary societies testimony is structured by norms of reciprocation and thus is best understood as involving the exchange of gifts rather than, as philosophers and game theorists have tended to presume, market transactions. My argument is based on an initial analysis of the reactive attitudes that are exhibited in testimonial exchanges. I highlight the central role played by the reciprocating attitudes of gratitude and gratification respectively in the recipient and the donor of (...)
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