Belief norms and blindspots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


I defend the thesis that beliefs are constitutively normative from two kinds of objections. After clarifying what a "blindspot" proposition is and the different types of blindspots there can be, I show that the existence of such propositions does not undermine the thesis that beliefs are essentially governed by a negative truth norm. I argue that the "normative variance" exhibited by this norm is not a defect. I also argue that if we accept a distinction between subjective and objective norms, there need be no worrying tension between doxastic norms of truth and doxastic norms of evidence. I show how a similar approach applies to the attitude of guessing. I then suggest that if we distinguish between practical and theoretical rationality, we will prefer a negative form of norm that does not positively oblige us to form beliefs. I finish by considering an alternative possible subjunctive form of norm that would also avoid problems with blindspots, but I suggest this has a nonintuitive consequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-269
Number of pages27
JournalSouthern Journal of Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'Belief norms and blindspots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this