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      Epistemic Blame and the Normativity of Evidence

      Erkenntnis

      Springer Netherlands

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          Abstract

          The normative force of evidence can seem puzzling. It seems that having conclusive evidence for a proposition does not, by itself, make it true that one ought to believe the proposition. But spelling out the condition that evidence must meet in order to provide us with genuine normative reasons for belief seems to lead us into a dilemma: the condition either fails to explain the normative significance of epistemic reasons or it renders the content of epistemic norms practical. The first aim of this paper is to spell out this challenge for the normativity of evidence. I argue that the challenge rests on a plausible assumption about the conceptual connection between normative reasons and blameworthiness. The second aim of the paper is to show how we can meet the challenge by spelling out a concept of epistemic blameworthiness. Drawing on recent accounts of doxastic responsibility and epistemic blame, I suggest that the normativity of evidence is revealed in our practice of suspending epistemic trust in response to impaired epistemic relationships. Recognizing suspension of trust as a form of epistemic blame allows us to make sense of a purely epistemic kind of normativity the existence of which has recently been called into doubt by certain versions of pragmatism and instrumentalism.

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          Most cited references 58

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              The Force and Fairness of Blame

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                sebastian.schmidt@philos.uzh.ch
                Journal
                Erkenntnis
                Erkenntnis
                Erkenntnis
                Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
                0165-0106
                1572-8420
                14 June 2021
                14 June 2021
                : 1-24
                Affiliations
                GRID grid.7400.3, ISNI 0000 0004 1937 0650, Philosophisches Seminar, , University of Zurich (UZH), ; Room G-228, Zürichbergstrasse 43, 8044 Zurich, Switzerland
                Article
                430
                10.1007/s10670-021-00430-9
                8202045
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Funding
                Funded by: Universität Zürich
                Categories
                Original Research

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