The Ohio State University
Fritz, James Christopher.
Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action.
Degree: PhD, Philosophy, 2019, The Ohio State University
This dissertation develops and defends a view of the
relationship between knowledge and norms on action. The view I
defend is an impurist one; on this view, whether a person knows
that p can depend on factors that are unrelated to the truth or
likelihood of p. On my impurism, normative facts about actions and
options—including, for instance, the costs of relying on a belief
in action—are among the non-truth-related factors that can make a
difference to knowledge. My view is distinctive, in part, because
of the further claim that moral facts about actions and options are
among the normative considerations that can make a difference to
knowledge. In a slogan: epistemic norms are sensitive to moral
considerations. In an even shorter slogan: there is moral
encroachment in epistemology. The first half of the dissertation
defends the claim that there is moral encroachment in epistemology.
In chapter 1 (“Pragmatic Encroachment and Moral Encroachment”), I
argue that moral encroachment is at least as well-motivated as a
more familiar view: the view that there is pragmatic encroachment
in epistemology. In chapter 2 (“Uncertainty, Belief, and Ethical
Weight”), I draw on insights from moral psychology to provide an
original argument for moral encroachment.The second half of the
dissertation starts from the assumption that there is moral
encroachment in epistemology. It is devoted to describing in detail
how moral encroachment works. In chapter 3 (“Moral Encroachment and
Reasons of the Wrong Kind”), I distinguish between a radical and a
moderate version of moral encroachment. I raise a problem for the
radical version: it threatens to erase the distinction between
epistemic and non-epistemic norms on belief. This problem, I note,
does not afflict the moderate version of moral encroachment. In
chapter 4 (“Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action”), I show that
it is no trivial task to explain why knowledge is sensitive to both
moral norms and norms of practical coherence. In fact, I argue,
existing versions of impurism generally lack the resources to
provide the needed explanation. I also make some suggestions about
the best ways to for an impurist to meet this challenge.It’s clear
that impurists both can and should add texture to their picture of
norms on action. They can make significant headway by endorsing two
of my primarily conclusions. First: there are multiple distinct
families of normative considerations (including, for instance,
moral considerations and considerations of practical coherence)
that are equally well-placed to make a difference to knowledge. And
second: only some of the moral considerations that bear on belief
are apt to make a difference to knowledge. These conclusions point
the way toward a clearer picture of an impurism worth
Advisors/Committee Members: McPherson, Tristram (Advisor).
Subjects/Keywords: Philosophy; Epistemology; impurism; pragmatic encroachment; moral encroachment
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Fritz, J. C. (2019). Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action. (Doctoral Dissertation). The Ohio State University. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu156268632958823
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Fritz, James Christopher. “Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action.” 2019. Doctoral Dissertation, The Ohio State University. Accessed November 17, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Fritz, James Christopher. “Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action.” 2019. Web. 17 Nov 2019.
Fritz JC. Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. The Ohio State University; 2019. [cited 2019 Nov 17].
Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu156268632958823.
Council of Science Editors:
Fritz JC. Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action. [Doctoral Dissertation]. The Ohio State University; 2019. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu156268632958823