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So understood, evidentialism is not just a thesis about justified belief, it is also a thesis about justified of belief.Only one doxastic attitude towards a proposition is justified for a person at a time, and this is a function of one’s evidence.According to (EVI) only facts that one something in the relevant sense, one has to be aware of, to know about, or to, in some sense, “mentally possess” it.
Evidentialism is a theory of knowledge whose essence is the traditional idea that the justification of factual knowledge is entirely a matter of evidence.
Earl Conee and Richard Feldman present the definitive exposition and defence of this much-contested theory.
justification, it is a thesis about what it takes for one to believe justifiably, or reasonably, in the sense thought to be necessary for knowledge.
Particular versions of evidentialism can diverge in virtue of their providing different claims about what sorts of things count as evidence, what it is for one to have evidence, and what it is for one’s evidence to support believing a proposition.
We think that one is not believing as one should when one believes something for no reason whatsoever or for very weak reasons.
This dependence on reasons seems to be central to the very of justified belief.Here, I focus on the core of evidentialism—the thesis about justified belief given in (EVI)—both for simplicity and because most treatments and criticisms of evidentialism focus on it.What is said about (EVI) can be extended naturally to the rest of the doxastic attitudes and thereby applied to Feldman and Conee’s explicit thesis.One might believe it as a result of wishful thinking, for example.In such a case, the evidentialist holds that the person is justified in believing the proposition in question but, nevertheless, believes it unjustifiably. Together, these three sections illustrate the diversity of possible evidentialist theories.Traditional accounts have looked to one’s available evidence or reasons for an answer. Though this by no means settles the issue, it does provide reason to try to work out a theory of justification that appeals to evidence.Naturally, then, we see this traditional conception reflected in the writings of many influential philosophers. proportions his belief to the evidence,” and he proceeds with this as his epistemic ideal (73). in attaching to every proposition a degree of belief corresponding to its degree of credibility,” credibility functionally depending on evidence (397-398). The remainder of this entry turns toward a detailed consideration of the theory itself.For example, one might not believe p simply because one fails to consider whether or not p is true, yet one may nevertheless have good enough reason to think p is true and so be justified in believing p.Second, one can have good enough reason to believe p and still believe it as a result of something other than this good reason.The sort of evidence that interests the evidentialist, however, is not just anything whatsoever that is relevant to the truth of the proposition in question.The evidentialist denies that such facts about mind-independent reality are evidence in the sense relevant to determining justification.