Why can testimony alone be enough for findings of liability? Why statistical evidence alone can’t? These questions underpin the “Proof Paradox” (Redmayne 2008, Enoch et al. 2012). Many epistemologists have attempted to explain this paradox from a purely epistemic perspective. I call it the “Epistemic Project”. In this paper, I take a step back from this recent trend. Stemming from considerations about the nature and role of standards of proof, I define three requirements that any successful account in line with (...) the Epistemic Project should meet. I then consider three recent epistemic accounts on which the standard is met when the evidence rules out modal risk (Pritchard 2018), normic risk (Ebert et al. 2020), or relevant alternatives (Gardiner 2019 2020). I argue that none of these accounts meets all the requirements. Finally, I offer reasons to be pessimistic about the prospects of having a successful epistemic explanation of the paradox. I suggest the discussion on the proof paradox would benefit from undergoing a ‘value-turn’. (shrink)
According to the ‘Evidential Internalists’, one’s evidence supervenes on one’s non-factive mental states. ‘Evidential Externalists’ deny that, and allow for external factors to determine what evidence one has. After clarifying what Evidential Internalism and Evidential Externalism entail, and what they are silent on, this chapter provides an opinionated overview of the main arguments and motivations behind Evidential Internalism and Evidential Externalism. It concludes that Evidential Externalism is a more promising view.
According to Probability 1 Infallibilism (henceforth, Infallibilism), if one knows that p, then the probability of p given one’s evidence is 1. Jessica Brown (2018, 2013) has recently argued that Infallibilism leads to scepticism unless the infallibilist also endorses the claim that if one knows that p, then p is part of one’s evidence for p. By doing that, however, the infalliblist has to explain why it is infelicitous to cite p as evidence for itself. And yet, the infallibilist doesn’t (...) seem to have a satisfying explanation available. Call this the Infelicity Challenge for Probability 1 Infallibilism. By exploiting the distinction between the justifying and the motivating role of evidence, in this paper, I argue that, contrary to first appearances, the Infelicity Challenge doesn’t arise for Probability 1 Infallibilism. However, after anticipating and resisting two objections to my argument, I show that we can identify a different version of infallibilism which seems to face a problem that is even more serious than the Infelicity Challenge. (shrink)
In this paper, I focus on the Armchair Access Problem for E=K as presented by Nicholas Silins (2005), and I argue, contra Silins, that it does not represent a real threat to E=K. More precisely, I put forward two lines of response, both of which put pressure on the main assumption of the argument, namely, the Armchair Access thesis. The first line of response focuses on its scope, while the second line of response focuses on its nature. The second line (...) of response is the most interesting one, for it represents the framework within which I develop a novel account of second-order knowledge, one that involves evaluation of counterfactual conditionals and the employment of our imaginative capacities, i.e., an imagination-based account of second-order knowledge. The two lines of response are shown to be jointly compatible and mutually supportive. I then conclude that the Armchair Access Problem is not a challenge for E=K, yet it relies on the ambiguity of the notion of armchair knowledge underpinning the Armchair Access thesis. (shrink)
This paper reassesses the case against Evidential Externalism, the thesis that one's evidence fails to supervene on one's non-factive mental states, focusing on two objections to Externalism due by Nicholas Silins: the armchair access argument and the supervenience argument. It also examines Silins's attempt to undermine the force of one major source of motivation for Externalism, namely that the rival Internalist picture of evidence is implicated in some central arguments for scepticism. While Silins concludes that the case against Evidential Externalism (...) is surprisingly strong, reassessing the arguments supports the opposite conclusion; the objections to Externalism are weak, and for all Silins has shown it may well have unmatched advantages when it comes to resisting scepticism. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the so-called Access Problem for Duncan Pritchard’s Epistemological Disjunctivism (2012). After reconstructing Pritchard’s own response to the Access Problem, I argue that in order to assess whether Pritchard’s response is a satisfying one, we first need an account of the notion of ‘Reflective Access’ that underpins Pritchard’s Epistemological Disjunctivism. I provide three interpretations of the notion of Reflective Access: a metaphysical interpretation, a folk interpretation, and an epistemic interpretation. I argue that none of these three (...) interpretations comes without problems. I conclude that, until we have a clear and unproblematic account of Reflective Access, the Access Problem remains a challenge for Pritchard’s Epistemological Disjunctivism. (shrink)
At the core of evidentialism lies a very plausible claim: rational thinkers follow their evidence. While this seems to be a very intuitive, almost trivial, claim, providing a full and complete evidentialist theory is complicated. In this entry, I begin with elucidating what kind of theory evidentialists aim to provide us with. I will show that, in order to provide a complete evidentialist theory, we have to provide a lot of details on what evidence is and how it relates to (...) the proposition it’s evidence for, as well as the agent possessing such evidence. I then consider objections arising for the most popular answers one can give to such questions. I conclude by considering old and new challenges that arise for evidentialism, regardless of the specific version one endorses. (shrink)
According to a version of Infallibilism, if one knows that p, then one’s evidence for p entails p. In her Fallibilism: Evidence and Knowledge, Jessica Brown has recently developed two arguments against Infalliblism, which can both be presented in the form of a dilemma. According to the first dilemma, the infallibilist can avoid scepticism only if she endorses the claim that if one knows that p then p is part of one’s evidence for p. But this seems to come at (...) the cost of making infelicitous claims. According to the second dilemma, the infallibilist cannot make sense of the phenomenon of defeat unless she rejects closure. In this paper, we argue that the infallibilist has the conceptual tools to resist both dilemmas. (shrink)