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Ideas of R Feldman / E Conee, by Text

[American, fl. 1985, Two university professors.]

1985 Evidentialism
I p.170 Evidentialism is the view that justification is determined by the quality of the evidence
     Full Idea: What we call 'evidentialism' is the view that the epistemic justification of a belief is determined by the quality of the believer's evidence for the belief.
     From: R Feldman / E Conee (Evidentialism [1985], I)
     A reaction: The immediate question is whether the believer knows the quality of their evidence. A detective might not recognise the crucial clue (like the dog not barking). The definition of 'quality' had better not turn out to be circular. Forgotten evidence?
II p.171 Involuntary beliefs can still be evaluated
     Full Idea: Examples confirm that beliefs may be both involuntary and subject to epistemic evaluation.
     From: R Feldman / E Conee (Evidentialism [1985], II)
     A reaction: This is an extremely important point, which summarises the situation with beliefs that arise from (apparent) immediate perception. A belief cannot possibly be knowledge if it has been triggered, but no effort was made to evaluate it.
III p.172 Beliefs should fit evidence, and if you ought to believe it, then you are justified
     Full Idea: One epistemically ought to have the doxastic attitudes that fit one's evidence. Being epistemically obligatory is equivalent to being epistemically justified.
     From: R Feldman / E Conee (Evidentialism [1985], III)
     A reaction: It is normal for someone to refuse to accept something, when another person believes the evidence is overwhelming. Evaluation of evidence must include an assessment of what other evidence might turn up.
III p.173 If someone rejects good criticism through arrogance, that is irrelevant to whether they have knowledge
     Full Idea: If an arrogant young physicist refuses to recognise valid criticisms from a senior colleague, his or her character has nothing to do with the epistemic status of their belief in the theory.
     From: R Feldman / E Conee (Evidentialism [1985], III)
     A reaction: This rejects the idea that epistemic justification is essentially a matter of virtues and vices of character. That view is a version of reliabilism, and hence of externalism. I agree with the criticism, but epistemic virtues are still significant.