Monday, September 15, 2008

Evidence of what?

If you're an evidentialist, you're not supposed to be a pragmatist. So, I'd think you'd reject the following view:

The Following View: A belief's justification depends on evidence that possessing that belief will serve the agent's practical aims.

Why does the evidentialist reject TFV? I would have thought that the reason would have to do with the norms of belief. Once we specify the norms of belief, we can answer the 'Evidence of what?' question. So, what should the evidentialist say is the norm of belief? If they have some other way of answering the 'Evidence of what?' question, what is it?

2 comments:

Andrew Cullison said...

I suppose the evidentialist would reject it because they could envision possible worlds where one has a belief that is best supported by their evidence, but there are also good reasons to believe that believing whatever is best supported by your evidence is not in your practical interests.

In that world, some evidentialists would think that you're justified in believing P without there being evidence that believing P serves one's practical aims.

Clayton said...

I think I didn't quite bring out what the question was.

I'm guessing that the evidentialist will want to say how we decide between the following views:

(a) justification is determined by a believer's evidence concerning the desirability of believing p.
(b) justification is determined by a believer's evidence concerning the accuracy of the belief that p.
(c) justification is determined by a believer's evidence concerning whether the belief that p would constitute knowledge.
(d) justification is determined by a believer's evidence concerning whether the belief that p would fit the evidence the individual has.
(e) justification is determined by a believer's evidence concerning whether the belief that p is a belief the gods command the believer to have.
(f) justification is determined by a believer's evidence concerning whether the belief that p is a belief the subject ought to have.

They typically go for (b), but the question is 'Why?' They could say that it's because truth is the norm of belief. That's Shah's line, I believe, but I don't think Conee and Feldman much like the view that truth is the norm of belief. They could say that knowledge is the norm of belief. That's Adler's line, but then it's odd that Adler seems to accept (b) rather than (c).