Evidential Preemption

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):515-530 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

As a general rule, whenever a hearer is justified in forming the belief that p on the basis of a speaker’s testimony, she will also be justified in assuming that the speaker has formed her belief appropriately in light of a relevantly large and representative sample of the evidence that bears on p. In simpler terms, a justification for taking someone’s testimony entails a justification for trusting her assessment of the evidence. This introduces the possibility of what I will call “evidential preemption.” Evidential preemption occurs when a speaker, in addition to offering testimony that p, also warns the hearer of the likelihood that she will subsequently be confronted with apparently contrary evidence: this is done, however, not so as to encourage the hearer to temper her confidence in p in anticipation of that evidence, but rather to suggest that the (apparently) contrary evidence is in fact misleading evidence or evidence that has already been taken into account. Either way, the speaker is signalling to the hearer that the subsequent disclosure of this evidence will not require her to significantly revise her belief that p. Such preemption can effectively inoculate an audience against future contrary evidence, and thereby creates an opening for a form of exploitative manipulation that I will call “epistemic grooming.” Nonetheless, I argue, not all uses of evidential preemption are nefarious; it can also serve as an important tool for guiding epistemically limited agents though complex evidential scenarios.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,322

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Undermining the case for evidential atheism.Paul K. Moser - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (1):83 - 93.
Problems with late preemption.L. A. Paul - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):48–53.
The preemption problem.Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):351-365.
Absences and Late Preemption.OisÍn Deery - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):309-325.
Necessarily Adequate Evidence about Other Minds.T. Greenwood - 1972 - Philosophy 47 (182):359 - 370.
A Closer Look at Trumping.Sara Bernstein - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (1):1-22.
Evidential Problem of Evil, The.Nick Trakakis - forthcoming - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The evidential problem of evil.Nickn D. Trakakis - 2005 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Tort-Agency Partnerships in an Age of Preemption.Catherine M. Sharkey - 2014 - Theoretical Inquiries in Law 15 (2):359-386.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-01-03

Downloads
220 (#87,975)

6 months
32 (#100,983)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Endre Begby
Simon Fraser University

Citations of this work

Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Hostile Epistemology.C. Thi Nguyen - 2023 - Social Philosophy Today 39:9-32.
Echoes of covid misinformation.Neil Levy - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (5):931-948.
The seductions of clarity.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 89:227-255.
Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - 2021 - In Sven Bernecker, Amy K. Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 82-105.

View all 25 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Reflection and disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
Warrant for nothing (and foundations for free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.

View all 38 references / Add more references