By Mikkel Gerken (auth.)
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Epistemic Warrant 35 I am now hallucinating that I am writing. This scenario is said to be an alternative which is epistemically irrelevant for knowing that I am writing. Traditionally, relevant alternatives theorists have been concerned with knowledge. But a similar program may be applied to warrant. However, the relevant alternatives program cannot be straightforwardly transposed to the theory of warrant. For a start, not all alternatives that are relevant for knowledge are relevant for warrant.
13 The notion of propositional warrant is useful when an assessment of an agent’s epistemic relation to a particular proposition which he does not believe is required. For example, an agent’s use of or reliance on certain cognitive competencies may constitute certain presuppositions. A person who relies on vision to form beliefs about her surroundings is somehow presupposing that vision is an epistemically good way of forming such beliefs. Although she may not believe anything about the reliability of vision, we may say that the presupposition in question is warranted.
She has an unwarranted belief or, more precisely, a negatively warranted belief. This fact is explained, at least in part, by the fact that the proposition that there is wine in the glass is (propositionally) warranted for her. If Lizzie does not form any belief regarding the matter, we are inclined to regard her as either less-than-optimally rational or as irrational outright. The former will typically be the case if she does not consider the matter. If so, Lizzie may still be said to fail to do as well as she could, cognitively speaking.
Epistemic Reasoning and the Mental by Mikkel Gerken (auth.)