Assertion, practical reasoning, and epistemic separabilism

Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1907-1927 (2015)
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I argue here for a view I call epistemic separabilism , which states that there are two different ways we can be evaluated epistemically when we assert a proposition or treat a proposition as a reason for acting: one in terms of whether we have adhered to or violated the relevant epistemic norm, and another in terms of how epistemically well-positioned we are towards the fact that we have either adhered to or violated said norm. ES has been appealed to most prominently in order to explain why epistemic evaluations that conflict with the knowledge norm of assertion and practical reasoning nevertheless seem correct. Opponents of such a view are committed to what I call epistemic monism , which states that there is only one way we can be properly evaluated as epistemically appropriate asserters and practical reasoners, namely in terms of whether we have adhered to or violated the relevant norm. Accepting ES over EM has two significant consequences: first, a “metaepistemological” consequence that the structure of normative epistemic evaluations parallels that found in other normative areas , and second, that the knowledge norms of assertion and practical reasoning are no worse off than any alternatives in terms of either explanatory power or simplicity


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Author's Profile

Kenneth Boyd
University of Toronto, St. George Campus (PhD)

Citations of this work

Degrees of Assertability.Sam Carter - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):19-49.
Knowledge-how is the Norm of Intention.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1703-1727.
You don't say! Lying, asserting and insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
Testimonial Epistemic Rights in Online Spaces.Kenneth Boyd - 2022 - Philosophical Topics 50 (2):105-126.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Edmund Gettier - 1963 - Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Unprincipled virtue: an inquiry into moral agency.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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