Monday, January 9, 2012

Northwestern Brown Bag Talk

The following information might be of interest to those in the Chicago area:

On January 11th, at 12:00 pm, David Alexander (Iowa) will give a talk titled “The Problem of Respecting Higher-Order Doubt,” for the Epistemology Brown Bag series at Northwestern University. Here is the abstract:

“This paper argues that higher-order doubts generate epistemic dilemmas. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one does not know whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, then one is not justified in having any attitude towards P. Otherwise put, no attitude towards the doubted proposition respects one’s higher-order doubt. I consider several responses to this problem, and argue that none succeed. I conclude that we must simply accept this particularly corrosive form of doubt as a part of our cognitive lives.”

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