Belief without credence

Carter, J. A. , Jarvis, B. W. and Rubin, K. (2016) Belief without credence. Synthese, 193(8), pp. 2323-2351. (doi: 10.1007/s11229-015-0846-6)

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One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be enough to register all aspects of a subject’s epistemic position with respect to any given proposition. We claim this problem can be solved by introducing other doxastic attitudes—genuine representations—that differ in strength from belief. The resulting alternative picture, a kind of doxastic states pluralism, retains the central features of traditional epistemology—most saliently, an emphasis on truth as a kind of objective accuracy—while adequately accounting for rational action.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Dr J Adam
Authors: Carter, J. A., Jarvis, B. W., and Rubin, K.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Synthese
ISSN (Online):1573-0964
Published Online:20 January 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Synthese 193(8): 2323-2351
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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