Akrasia and Epistemic Impurism

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (1):98-116 (2021)
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This essay provides a novel argument for impurism, the view that certain non-truth-relevant factors can make a difference to a belief's epistemic standing. I argue that purists, unlike impurists, are forced to claim that certain ‘high-stakes’ cases rationally require agents to be akratic. Akrasia is one of the paradigmatic forms of irrationality. So purists, in virtue of calling akrasia rationally mandatory in a range of cases with no obvious precedent, take on a serious theoretical cost. By focusing on akrasia, and on the nature of the normative judgments involved therein, impurists gain a powerful new way to frame a core challenge for purism. They also gain insight about the way in which impurism is true: my argument motivates the claim that there is moral encroachment in epistemology.

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James Fritz
Virginia Commonwealth University

Citations of this work

Encroachment on Emotion.James Fritz - 2022 - Episteme 19 (4):515-533.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 181-205.

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