Epistemic norms on evidence-gathering

Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2547-2571 (2023)
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In this paper, we argue that there are epistemic norms on evidence-gathering and consider consequences for how to understand epistemic normativity. Though the view that there are such norms seems intuitive, it has found surprisingly little defense. Rather, many philosophers have argued that norms on evidence-gathering can only be practical or moral. On a prominent evidentialist version of this position, epistemic norms only apply to responding to the evidence one already has. Here we challenge the orthodoxy. First, we argue that there is no significant normative difference between responding to evidence you have and gathering more evidence. Second, we argue that our practices of epistemically criticizing agents for their poor evidence-gathering indicate the existence of epistemic norms on evidence-gathering. Finally, we show that our thesis has important implications for recent debates about the relationship between epistemic norms and inquiry.

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Author Profiles

Carolina Flores
University of California, Santa Cruz
Elise Woodard
King's College London

Citations of this work

The Knowledge Norm for Inquiry.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (11):615-640.
Norms of Inquiry.Eliran Haziza - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (12):e12952.
Doxastic Dilemmas and Epistemic Blame.Sebastian Schmidt - forthcoming - Philosophical Issues.
Inquiry Beyond Knowledge.Bob Beddor - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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References found in this work

Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Theory of knowledge.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.

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