Higher-Order Epistemic Attitudes and Intellectual Humility

Allan Hazlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent discussions of the epistemology of disagreement (Kelly 2005, Feldman 2006, Elga 2007, Christensen 2007) have focused on the question: how ought you respond to disagreement with an epistemic peer?1 These discussions have assumed that the question of the proper response to disagreement about p concerns whether you ought to change your doxastic attitude towards p.

Here I suggest an alternative approach, on which the question of the proper response to disagreement about p concerns the proper doxastic attitude to adopt concerning the epistemic status of your doxastic attitude towards p.
My discussion will focus on would-be necessary connections between doxastic attitudes about the epistemic statuses of your doxastic attitudes, or higher-order epistemic attitudes, and the epistemic statuses of those doxastic attitudes.2 I will argue that, in some situations, it can be reasonable for a person to believe p and to suspend judgment about whether believing p is reasonable for her. This will set the stage for an account of the virtue of intellectual humility, on
which humility is a matter of your higher-order epistemic attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-223
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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