With respect to most if not all of the propositions we consider as candidates for belief, says Clifford, we are obliged to go out and gather evidence, remain open to new evidence, and consider the evidence offered by others.
Consider for example someone who reads in the psychological literature that people are much more likely to survive a cancer diagnosis if they firmly believe that they will survive it.
An account of the plausible conditions of reflective access may be somewhat different for norms of maintaining, suspending, and relinquishing belief for suspending, see Tang and Perin The point here is that at some point he must make an assumption, which, in his mind, becomes sufficient.
So far the norms involved in the ethics of belief have been characterized without attention to reflective access requirements. With respect to reflective access conditions, it was noted earlier that Evidentialists cannot require that a rational subject always base beliefs on sufficient evidence that she knows or justifiably believes she has, for fear of an infinite regress.
Maybe I still have some doubt and I book a trip to Ecuador. The rule which should guide us in such cases is simple and obvious enough: Think about how many cases have been solved due to a ''hunch'' by a seasoned investigator; Clifford's argument seems to be that such an investigator is necessarily wrong, yet he completely misses the point that a hunch from a seasoned investigator is not typically a blind stab in the dark, but is a skill which is developed through the investigator's life experiences, dealings with other criminals and similar cases, and just everything that make up him as an individual.
In 'The Weight of Authority', Mr. A question rightly asked is already half answered, said Jacobi; we may add that the method of solution is the other half of the answer, and that the actual result counts for nothing by the side of these two.
Believe nothing, he tells us, keep your mind in suspense forever, rather than by closing it on insufficient evidence incur the awful risk of believing lies. Clifford expound upon what he considers to be sufficient evidence. If we have a theory according to which the aim of belief is complex, however, then parallels to the ethics of action become more complicated.
The first story tells of a ship-owner who, having an old, not overly-well built ship to begin with, is considering whether or not to send his ship full of immigrants on its voyage. The evidence is there, it may not be clear to everyone, but sufficiency, to me, seems to be quite a subjective notion.
He may quite honestly believe that this statement is a fair inference from his experiments, but in that case his judgment is at fault.
The goodness and greatness of a man do not justify us in accepting a belief upon the warrant of his authority, unless there are reasonable grounds for supposing that he knew the truth of what he was saying.
For one person, knowing a trusted friend said it might be sufficient, while others might have needed much more to varying levels. One argument for the claim that knowledge is the norm of belief seeks to infer that result from the claim that knowledge is the aim of belief.
This feeling, forced on us we know not whence, that by obstinately believing that there are gods although not to do so would be so easy both for our logic and our life we are doing the universe the deepest service we can, seems part of the living essence of the religious hypothesis.
In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf.
For no belief held by one man, however seemingly trivial the belief, and however obscure the believer, is ever actually insignificant or without its effect on the fate of mankind.
Does going with the odds mean that there is insufficient evidence for a long shot? The main distinction here is between hypothetical and categorical structure. Of course I'm left to wonder if the plane actually took me to Ecuador, but that aside for the moment, assume I reach a city with a sign that reads Quito, under which is written, The Capital of Ecuador.
The point here is that at some point he must make an assumption, which, in his mind, becomes sufficient. One reason that this position can seem counterintuitive is that an important role that norms often play is that of guiding action. Still others think that one category of norm collapses into another and that this can give us an all things considered conclusion for discussion of whether epistemic rationality collapses into prudential rationality, for example, see Kelly In sum: Not to do so would be to wholly disregard the duty to avoid falsehood.
Still others focus on the fact that we can be praised and blamed for beliefs as well as actions that are not under our control, even if there are no obligations on belief-formation.
The excellent moral character of a man is alleged as ground for accepting his statements about things which he cannot possibly have known.William Kingdon Clifford’s essay “The Ethics of Belief” was originally delivered on April 11,to the learned debate organization critique, Clifford's evidentialism will then be examined in chapter five.
W. K. Clifford and the “Ethics of Belief” 3 to believe on such evidence as was before him that the ship could make. Notes on Peter van Inwagen's Critique of Clifford's The Ethics of Belief Notes: Van Inwagen’s “Is it Wrong Always, Everywhere, and for Anyone to Believe Anything on Insufficient Evidence?” Preliminaries.
A Critique of William K.
Clifford's "The Ethics of Belief" Authors. Tony Frontuto, College of DuPage.
Recommended Citation. Frontuto, Tony () "A Critique of William K. Clifford's "The Ethics of Belief"," ESSAI: Vol. 11, Article The ethics of Belief: Argues against Pascal by saying that belief is an ethical choice that must be made with sufficient evidence.
William Paley The Watch and the Watchmaker: Watch to a watchmaker as earth is to God. The “ethics of belief” refers to a cluster of questions at the intersection of epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, and psychology.
The central question in the debate is whether there are norms of some sort governing our habits of belief-formation, belief-maintenance, and belief-relinquishment. May 17, · The Ethics of Belief is a three part series of essays written by William Kingdon Clifford, William James, and A.J. Burger individually titled The Ethics of Belief, The Will to Believe, and An Examination of 'The Will to Believe' respectively; with each being a .Download