Ought to believe, simpliciter

Episteme:1-13 (forthcoming)
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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 that on a deontological understanding of ought to believe there must be ought to believe simpliciter and that it is the violation of this ought that determines whether we are to blame for our beliefs.



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Anthony Booth
University of Sussex

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Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.
What is Epistemic Blame?Jessica Brown - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):389-407.
The ethics of belief.Richard Feldman - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.
There is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):518-534.

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