Rational Agnosticism and Degrees of Belief

Abstract

There has been much discussion about whether traditional epistemology's doxastic attitudes are reducible to degrees of belief. In this paper I argue that what I call the Straightforward Reduction - the reduction of all three of believing p, disbelieving p, and suspending judgment about p, not-p to precise degrees of belief for p and not-p that ought to obey the standard axioms of the probability calculus - cannot succeed. By focusing on suspension of judgment (agnosticism) rather than belief, we can see why the Straightforward Reduction is bound to fail. I argue that, in general, suspending about p is not just a matter of having some specified standard credence for p, and in the end I suggest some ways to extend the arguments that will put pressure on other credence-theoretic accounts of belief and suspension of judgment as well.

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Citations of this work

Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.

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