“The Ethics of Belief” Reconsidered

Susan Haack

in Knowledge, Truth, and Duty

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195128925
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833764 | DOI:
“The Ethics of Belief” Reconsidered

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Addresses the relation between epistemic and moral duty. Argues against what the writer calls the special case thesis, according to which epistemic appraisal is merely an instance of moral appraisal. Argues also against the correlation thesis, which asserts that the appropriateness of a positive (negative) epistemic appraisal entails the appropriateness of a positive (negative) moral appraisal. Accepts, however, the overlap thesis, according to which some epistemically unjustified beliefs deserve an unfavorable moral appraisal. Regarding the Clifford‐James debate, argues that it is always epistemically wrong, but not always morally wrong, to believe on the basis of insufficient evidence.

Keywords: epistemic appraisal; epistemic duty; evidence; moral duty; the Clifford‐James debate

Chapter.  7498 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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