Categorical Norms and Convention‐Relativism about Epistemic Discourse

Dialectica 71 (1):85-99 (2017)
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Allan Hazlett has recently developed an alternative to the most popular form of anti-realism about epistemic normativity, epistemic expressivism. He calls it “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse”. The view deserves more attention. In this paper, I give it attention in the form of an objection. Specifically, my objection turns on a distinction between inescapable and categorical norms. While I agree with Hazlett that convention-relativism is consistent with inescapable epistemic norms, I argue that it is not consistent with categorical epistemic norms. I then argue that Hazlett's account of a controversial upshot of convention-relativism – namely, that epistemic discourse is not “normative” – should, but does not, adequately address the question of whether epistemic norms are categorical. This leads to a more general discussion of anti-realism in epistemology.

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Cameron Boult
Brandon University

Citations of this work

Veritism and ways of deriving epistemic value.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3617-3633.

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References found in this work

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Thinking how to live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Justifications, Excuses, and Sceptical Scenarios.Timothy Williamson - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch & Julien Dutant (eds.), The New Evil Demon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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