Understanding epistemic normativity Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Nolfi, Kate
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • Why ought we care about whether we conform to epistemic norms? Many philosophers think that the nature of belief itself issues a mandate to conform with epistemic norms. But what is it about the nature of belief in virtue of which it issues this mandate? The most popular answer is: belief aims at truth. I argue, however, that if belief really did aim at truth, then the nature of belief could not explain why it is that we ought to believe in conformity with epistemic norms. Only an account of the nature of belief according to which belief aims at guiding action can explain why believers are bound by a mandate to conform with epistemic norms. I show that this sort of account can explain how epistemic norms have authority over our beliefs. Then, I develop an account of doxastic control that succeeds where other accounts fail in explaining when and why epistemic norms are regulative. Finally, I put both my explanation of the authority of epistemic norms and my account of doxastic control to work in developing an explanation of why it is that we ought to care about conforming with epistemic norms.
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  • Neta, Ram
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2014

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