Dissertation, University of Edinburgh (2018)

Authors
Daniella Meehan
University of Glasgow (PhD)
Abstract
Ethics and epistemology are close philosophical disciplines which frequently overlap. One intersection between the two domains is the study of blameworthiness and the nature of epistemic and moral blame. In contemporary epistemology, recent attempts have been made to resist the notion of epistemic blame in its entirety. This view, which I refer to as 'epistemic blame scepticism', seems to challenge the notion of epistemic blame by reducing apparent cases of the phenomenon to examples of moral or practical blame. The purpose of this paper is to defend the notion of epistemic blame against two epistemic blame sceptics, Dougherty and Boult, defusing their criticisms and restoring belief in the distinct form of epistemic blame. I discuss a favourable argument for epistemic blame before providing original defences against Dougherty and Boult's attempt to refute his claims. I then present and offer my own response to what I perceive to be the biggest challenge to epistemic blame, drawing from areas of epistemic deontology that have yet to be discussed in this literature. Finally, I present a new objection against epistemic scepticism which highlights how, if granted, their influence on the study of epistemic blame would be minor.
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