Cognitive diversity and the contingency of evidence

Lyons, J. C. (2022) Cognitive diversity and the contingency of evidence. Synthese, 200(3), 202. (doi: 10.1007/s11229-022-03660-8)

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Many epistemologists endorse a view I call “evidence essentialism:” if e is evidence of h, for some agent at some time, then necessarily, e is evidence of h, for any agent at any time. I argue that such a view is only plausible if we ignore cognitive diversity among epistemic agents, i.e., the fact that different agents have different—sometimes radically different—cognitive skills, abilities, and proclivities. Instead, cognitive diversity shows that evidential relations are contingent and relative to cognizers. This is especially obvious in extreme cases (from pathological to gifted agents) and in connection with epistemic defeat, but it is also very plausibly true of ordinary agents, and regarding prima facie justification.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lyons, Professor Jack
Authors: Lyons, J. C.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Synthese
ISSN (Online):1573-0964
Published Online:06 May 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Author
First Published:First published in Synthese 200(3): 202
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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