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Article contents

Epistemic Existentialism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 August 2019

Laura Frances Callahan*
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
*
*Corresponding author. Email: laura.callahan24@gmail.com

Abstract

Subjectivist permissivism is a prima facie attractive view. That is, it's plausible to think that what's rational for people to believe on the basis of their evidence can vary if they have different frameworks or sets of epistemic standards. In this paper, I introduce an epistemic existentialist form of subjectivist permissivism, which I argue can better address “the arbitrariness objection” to subjectivist permissivism in general. According to the epistemic existentialist, it's not just that what's rational to believe on the basis of evidence can vary according to agents’ frameworks, understood as passive aspects of individuals’ psychologies. Rather, what's rational to believe on the basis of evidence is sensitive to agents’ choices and active commitments (as are frameworks themselves). Here I draw on Chang's work on commitment and voluntarist reasons. The epistemic existentialist maintains that what's rational for us to believe on the basis of evidence is, at least in part, up to us. It can vary not only across individuals but for a single individual, over time, as she makes differing epistemic commitments.

Type
Article
Information
Episteme , Volume 18 , Issue 4 , December 2021 , pp. 539 - 554
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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