Class Note for PHIL 383 at UMass(4)
Class Note for PHIL 383 at UMass(4)
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Massachusetts taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 16 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Handout 6 PM 383 509 Czyj erd CLIFFORD S EVIDENTIALISM it is wrong always everywhere and for any one to believe anything upon insuf cient evidence 273 EVIDENTIALISM For all persons S propositions p and times t S ought to believe that p at t iffbelieving p ts S s evidence at t Clari cation IfS ought to believe p then p ts S s evidence This means that there s no situation where you ought to believe something and yet believing that thing doesn t t your evidence pr ts S s evidence then S ought to believe that p This means that there s no situation where p ts your evidence but you ought to refrain from believing p Two ways to think about belief 1 Belief as all7or7nothing eg I either believe that I am in Massachusetts believe that I m not in Massachusetts or withhold belief altogether 2 Belief as graded con dence eg I am very con dent that I aniin Bartlett Hall I am somewhat con dent that the bus will arrive on time today I am 5050 about whether or not I ll go out to eat for dinner tonight A natural model of this Probability Pq 1 7 full con dence in q Pq 0 7 no con dence in q Pq 05 7 complete indecision in q TERNARY EVIDENTIALISM There is a certain balance of evidence relative to some proposition p That balance of evidence can give one of three verdicts with respect to p believe p disbelieve p withhold belief regarding p Detective example GRADED EVIDENTIALISM For all persons S propositions p and times t S ought to believe that p at t to degree n if and only if S s evidence at t tells in favor ofp to degree 11 Slogan One ought to proportion one s beliefs to the evidence What evidentialism seems to rule out Full belief in God with doubts about his existence Partial belief in God with weighty reasons for doubt Belief in God or atheism although little reason for believing or for disbelieving WHY THINK EVIDENTIALISM Is TRUE THE SHIP OWNER Clifford s ship owner example What shall we say ofhim Surely this that he was verily guilty of the death of those men It is admitted that he did sincerely believe in the soundness of his ship but the sincerity of his conviction can in no wise help him because 7e Imd no 72371 10 believe on sue7 evideme m Wm be are liim he must be held responsible for it 269 Handout 6 PM 383 509 Czyj ord ARG 1 1 The ship owner was wrong to send out the ship 2 The ship owner s illifounded beliefs necessitated that he send the ship 3 If S doingxnecessitates that S does 1 and S is wrong to do 1 then S is wrong to do X C Thus S is wrong to have illifounded beliefs Probm1 Premise 2 is a version of behaviorism Clifford rejects this even when a man s beliefis so fixed that he cannot think otherwise he still has a choice in regard to the action suggested by it p 270 However Clifford says Nor is that truly a belief at all which has not some in uence upon the actions of him who holds it 270 This suggests ARG 2 1 The ship owner was wrong to send out the ship 239 The ship owner s illifounded beliefs played a role in his sending the ship 339 HS doing xplavs a role in S doing 1 and S is wrong to do 1 then S is wrong to do x C Thus S is wrong to have illifounded beliefs Probm1 Premise 3 looks to be false Bzgger Problem If the ship owner Imdn sent out the ship the belief wouldn t have been wrong WHY THINK EVIDENTIALISM Is TRUE THE GENERAL CASE But forasmuch as no belief held by one man however seemingly trivial the belief and however obscure the believer is ever actually insignificant or without its effect on the fate of mankind we have no choice but to extend our judgement to all cases of beliefwhatever 271 ARG 3 1 All illifounded beliefs either i cause harm directly or ii lead to credulity which causes harm indirectly 2 If something causes harm directh or indirecth then it is wrong C Thus all illifounded beliefs are wrong Probm1 Injection example Counterexarnple to premise 2 ARG 4 1 All illifounded beliefs either i directly cause more harm than not or ii lead to credulity which indirectly causes more harm than not 2 If something causes more harm than not directly or indirecth then it is wrong C Thus all illifounded beliefs are wrong Probm1 Execution example Madman example CounterexaInple to premise 1 EVIDENTIALISM REFORMULATED EiEVTDENTlALlSM For all persons S propositions p and times t S is z39xim 39m obligated to believe that p at t if and only if believing p fits S s evidence at t Handout 6 PM 383 509 Czyj ord An Argg ent Against Theistic Belief from Evidentialism 1 Faith is believing in the absence of suf cient evidence 2 it is wrong always everywhere and for anyone to believe anything upon insuf cient evidence C Therefore faith is wrong always everywhere and for anyone The Theistic Agnostic Argument from Evidentialism 1 The evidence is not sufficient for belief in theism or atheism 2 Evidentialism is true 3 Thus we ought to withhold belief with respect to theism and atheism C Thus we ought to be agnostics WILLIAM IAMEs WEAK EiEVTDENTlALlSM For all persons S propositions p and times t ifbelieving p ts S39s evidence at t then S ought to believe that p at t A Genuine Option is a Living rather than Dead b Forced rather than Avoidable c Momentous rather than Trivial James paraphrase If confronted with a genuine option where the evidence doesn t tell either way then you ought to follow your heart Q But why not withhold belief VAN INWAGEN Rational Disagreement 7 cases where two mature and intelligent adults know all the arguments and all the evidence on both sides of an issue and yet come down on different sides of that issue I ask again what could it be that justifies us in rejecting political skepticism How can I believe that my political beliefs are justified when these beliefs are rejected by people whose quali cations for engaging in political discourse are as impressive as David Lewis s quali cations for engaging in philosophical discourse These people are aware of at least all the evidence and all the arguments thatI am aware of and they are at least as good at evaluating evidence and arguments as I How then can I maintain that the evidence and arguments I can adduce in support of my beliefs actually justify these beliefs If this evidence and these arguments are capable of that then why aren t they capable of convincing these other people that these beliefs are correct 277 The Political Skeptic Argg ent from Evidentialism 1 The evidence is not suf cient for belief in ProiA or ConiA 2 Evidentialism is true 3 Thus we ought to withhold belief with respect to A C Thus we ought to be political skeptics with respect to A
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