Epistemological theories of knowledge and justification draw a crucial distinction between one’s simply having good reasons for some belief and one’s actually basing one’s belief on good reasons. While the most natural kind of account of basing is causal in nature—a belief is based on a reason if and only if the belief is properly caused by the reason—there is hardly any widely accepted, counterexample-free account of the basing relation among contemporary epistemologists. Further inquiry into the nature of the basing relation is therefore of paramount importance for epistemology. Without an acceptable account of the basing relation, epistemological theories remain both crucially incomplete and vulnerable to errors that can arise when authors assume an implausible view of what it takes for beliefs to be held on the basis of reasons.
Well-Founded Belief brings together 16 essays written by leading epistemologists to explore this important topic in greater detail. The chapters in this collection are divided into two broad categories: (i) the nature of the basing relation; and (ii) basing and its applications. The chapters in the first section are concerned, principally, with positively characterizing the epistemic basing relation and criticizing extant accounts of it, including extant accounts of the relationship between epistemic basing and propositional and doxastic justification. The latter chapters connect epistemic basing with other topics of interest in epistemology as well as ethics, including: epistemic disjunctivism, epistemic injustice, agency, epistemic conservativism, epistemic grounding, epistemic genealogy, practical reasoning, and practical knowledge.
Table of Contents
Patrick Bondy and J. Adam Carter
Part I: The Nature of the Basing Relation
1. A Doxastic-Causal Theory of Epistemic Basing
2. All Evidential Basing is Phenomenal Basing
3. Dispositions and the Basing Relation
4. The Many Ways of the Basing Relation
Luca Moretti and Tommaso Piazza
5. Reasons and Basing in Commonsense Epistemology: Evidence from Two Experiments
6. Inference and the Basing Relation
Keith Allen Korcz
7. The Superstitious Lawyer’s Inference
Patrick Bondy and J. Adam Carter
8. Prime Time (for the Basing Relation)
Errol Lord and Kurt Sylvan
Part II: Basing and Its Applications
9. Hermeneutical Injustice as Basing Failure
10. Agency and the Basing Relation
11. Epistemic Conservatism and the Basing Relation
12. Can Beliefs be Based on Practical Reasons?
13. Epistemological Disjunctivism and Factive Bases for Belief
14. From Epistemic Basing to Epistemic Grounding
15. Well-Founded Belief and the Contingencies of Epistemic Location
16. The Epistemic Basing Relation and Knowledge-That as Knowledge-How
J. Adam Carter is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Glasgow, UK. His work has appeared in Noûs, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Analysis, Philosophical Studies, and the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. He is the author of Metaepistemology and Relativism (2016).
Patrick Bondy is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wichita State University. His work has appeared in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Dialogue, Philosophia, and Episteme. He is the author of Epistemic Rationality and Epistemic Normativity (2018).