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Wes Siscoe
University of Cologne
  1.  46
    Accuracy Across Doxastic Attitudes: Recent Work on the Accuracy of Belief.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    James Joyce’s article “A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism” introduced an approach to arguing for credal norms by appealing to the epistemic value of accuracy. The central thought was that credences ought to accurately represent the world, a guiding thought that has gone on to generate an entire research paradigm on the rationality of credences. Recently, a number of epistemologists have begun to apply this same thought to full beliefs, attempting to explain and argue for norms of belief in terms of (...)
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  2. Belief, Rational and Justified.Wes Siscoe - 2021 - Mind 130 (517):59-83.
    It is clear that beliefs can be assessed both as to their justification and their rationality. What is not as clear, however, is how the rationality and justification of belief relate to one another. Stewart Cohen has stumped for the popular proposal that rationality and justification come to the same thing, that rational beliefs just are justified beliefs, supporting his view by arguing that ‘justified belief’ and ‘rational belief’ are synonymous. In this paper, I will give reason to think that (...)
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  3.  14
    Being Rational Enough: Maximizing, Satisficing, and Degrees of Rationality.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Against the maximizing conception of practical rationality, Michael Slote has argued that rationality does not always require choosing what is most rational. Instead, it can sometimes be rational to do something that is less-than-fully rational. In this paper, I will argue that maximizers have a ready response to Slote’s position. Roy Sorensen has argued that ‘rational’ is an absolute term, suggesting that it is not possible to be rational without being completely rational. Sorensen’s view is confirmed by the fact that, (...)
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  4.  33
    Does Being Rational Require Being Ideally Rational? `Rational' as a Relative and an Absolute Term.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    A number of formal epistemologists have argued that perfect rationality requires probabilistic coherence, a requirement that they often claim applies only to ideal agents. However, in “Rationality as an Absolute Concept”, Roy Sorensen contends that ‘rational’ is an absolute term. Just as Peter Unger argued that being flat requires that a surface be completely free of bumps and blemishes, Sorensen claims that being rational requires being perfectly rational. However, when we combine these two views, they lead to counterintuitive results. If (...)
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  5.  47
    Epistemic Democracy and the Truth Connection.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Public Reason.
    If political decision-making aims at getting a particular result, like identifying just laws or policies that truly promote the common good, then political institutions can also be evaluated in terms of how often they achieve these results. Epistemic defenses of democracy argue that democracies have the upper hand when it comes to truth, identifying the laws and policies that are truly just or conducive to the common good. A number of epistemic democrats claim that democracies have this beneficial connection to (...)
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  6.  55
    Grounding, Understanding, and Explanation.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Starting with the slogan that understanding is a 'knowledge of causes,' Stephen Grimm and John Greco have argued that understanding comes from a knowledge of dependence relations. Grounding is the trendiest dependence relation on the market, and if Grimm and Greco are correct, then instances of grounding should also give rise to understanding. In this paper, I will show that this prediction is correct-grounding does indeed generate understanding in just the way that Grimm and Greco anticipate. However, grounding examples of (...)
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  7.  95
    Incoherent but Reasonable: A Defense of Truth-Abstinence in Political Liberalism.Wes Siscoe & Alexander Schaefer - 2020 - Social Theory and Practice 46 (3):573-603.
    A strength of liberal political institutions is their ability to accommodate pluralism, both allowing divergent comprehensive doctrines as well as constructing the common ground necessary for diverse people to live together. A pressing question is how far such pluralism extends. Which comprehensive doctrines are simply beyond the pale and need not be accommodated by a political consensus? Rawls attempted to keep the boundaries of reasonable disagreement quite broad by infamously denying that political liberalism need make reference to the concept of (...)
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  8. Stoic Virtue: A Contemporary Interpretation.Wes Siscoe - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (18):1-20.
    The Stoic understanding of virtue is often taken to be a non-starter. Many of the Stoic claims about virtue – that a virtue requires moral perfection and that all who are not fully virtuous are vicious – are thought to be completely out of step with our commonsense notion of virtue, making the Stoic account more of an historical oddity than a seriously defended view. Despite many voices to the contrary, I will argue that there is a way of making (...)
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  9.  16
    Thomas Reid, the Internalist.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Journal of Modern Philosophy.
    Philosophical orthodoxy holds that Thomas Reid is an externalist concerning epistemic justification, characterizing Reid as holding the key to an externalist response to internalism. These externalist accounts of Reid, however, have neglected his work on prejudice, a heretofore unexamined aspect of his epistemology. Reid's work on prejudice reveals that he is far from an externalist. Despite the views Reid may have inspired, he exemplifies internalism in opting for an accessibility account of justification. For Reid, there are two normative statuses that (...)
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