Belief and Pluralistic Ignorance. Filosofia Unisinos.

Belief and Pluralistic Ignorance. My last Philosophy article at Filosofia Unisinos. 

Joven-Romero, M.A. (2020). Belief and Pluralistic Ignorance. Filosofia Unisinos, 21(3), 260-267.
Pluralistic ignorance is usually analyzed in terms of social norms. Recently, Bjerring, Hansen and Pedersen describe and define this phenomenon in terms of beliefs, actions and evidence. Here I apply a basic epistemic approach to belief – believers consider their beliefs to be true –, a basic pragmatic approach to belief – beliefs are useful for believers – and a mixed epistemic-pragmatic approach – believers consider their believes to be true and such considerations are useful – to pluralistic ignorance phenomena. For that, I take the definition given by Bjerring, Hansen and Pedersen.

Download the whole pdf article here.

On Evidence and Belief

In this article I analyse how evidence influences, determines and evaluates belief formation. I deal with the main normative accounts and with constitutive non-normative accounts of the evidential thesis for belief emergence and I finally defend that evidentialism must be understood in constitutive non-normative terms. More specifically, evidentialism must be based on the idea that believers always consider that they have enough evidence for their beliefs.

Aproximaciones pragmáticas a la creencia y la verdad

Último artículo en Revista Laguna 43. Editada por la Universidad de La Laguna (ULL)

Last paper in Revista Laguna 43. Published by Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), Spain: ‘Pragmatic Approaches to Belief and Truth’

Bastantes filósofos están explorando la relación entre creencia y verdad, siguiendo la popular frase de Williams la creencia aspira a la verdad. Normativistas apoyan una relación constitutiva entre creencia y verdad en términos de la norma de la verdad. Teleologistas lo hacen en términos del objetivo de la verdad y los mecanismos que regulan la verdad. Otros analizan la creencia y la verdad desde el pragmatismo. Aquí analizo estas ideas sobre creencia, verdad y pragmatismo, defendiendo que la creencia puede entenderse mejor considerando una relación constitutiva con la verdad. Las posiciones pragmáticas podrían ser mejores para comprender aceptación.

Many philosophers explore the relationship between belief and truth, following Williams popular statement “belief aims at truth.” Normativists support a constitutive link between belief and truth in terms of the norm of truth while the teleologists do it in terms of the aim of truth and the mechanisms that regulate truth. Other philosophers analyze belief and truth from pragmatism. Here I analyze these ideas about belief, truth and pragmatism defending that belief can be better understood with a constitutive relationship between belief and truth. The pragmatic positions might be better to understand and manage acceptance.

Do We Need Reasons for the Normativity of Belief?

Last paper published in Kritike 12(1). Edited by University of Santo Tomas

Here, I defend a constitutive normative account of belief regardless of reasons for belief emergence and based on the believer’s attitude. I first sketch the dichotomy between evidential and nonevidential reasons to believe. Then I relate this dichotomy to doxastic and pragmatic approaches on the nature and the aim of belief. Then I analyze Daniel Whiting’s approach, based on evidentialism, that accommodates pragmatic and epistemic aims of belief and the related further actions and thoughts. I finally defend a doxasticcharacterization of belief that relies on the attitude of the believer while believing: a person x believes p if and only if x considers p to be true.

A Possible Pragmatic Aim of Belief

New paper published on Contrastes. Revista Internacional de Filosofía, 22 (2). Edited by Universidad de Málaga.

The links between belief, truth and pragmatism are recurrent topics in epistemology. Recently, some publications have analyzed the aims of belief, following Williams’ popular statement ‘belief aims at truth’. Some of these authors defend a normative link between belief and truth and they explore the possible epistemic norms of belief, while others prefer to analyze beliefs in terms of values. Other philosophers defend that beliefs do not always aim at truth. Here I analyze and compare these ideas about belief, truth and pragmatism defending that belief can be better understood with a constitutive relationship between belief and truth.

Videoclase: Ignorancia Pluralista y Creencia

English: A class on Pluralistic Ignorance and Beliefs for the subjec “Social Ontology Issues” at the MA of Philosophy of UNED (National University of Distance Education, Spain) [18/05/2017, in Spanish]

Español: Clase sobre Ignorancia Pluralista y Creencias para la asignatura “Temas de Ontología Social” del Máster de Filosofía de la UNED (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia) [18/05/2017, en español]

Aragonés: Clase sobre Ignorancia Pluralista y Creyencias ta l’asignatura “Temas de Ontolochía Social” d’o Máster de Filosofía d’a UNED (Universidat Nacional d’Educación a Distancia) [18/05/2017, en espanyol]

Ulrich Beck, Teoría de la Información y Sobreinformación

At Aragón Radio

At Aragón Radio

Aragonés: Charrando d’as ideyas de Ulrich Beck, d’a sociedat d’o risque, teoría d’a información y sobreinformación en Aragón Fin De Semana, programa d’a radio publica aragonesa Aragón Radio (en espanyol):

English: Talking about Ulrich Beck ideas, risk society, theory of information and information overload at Aragón Fin De Semana, radio program of the aragonese public radio Aragón Radio (in Spanish):

Español: Hablando de Ulrich Beck, sociedad del riesgo, teoría de la información y sobreinformación en Aragón Fin De Semana, programa de radio de la radio pública aragonesa Aragón Radio (en español):

Ernest Sosa, beliefs, judgments and reliability


                    Ernest Sosa

Abstract: Some days ago I read Ernest Sosa’s paper Epistemic Agency and Judgment. Here I show a brief sketch of his interesting ideas about belief, justification and reliability.

Resumen (aragonés): Fa bells diyas leyé l’articlo de Ernest Sosa Epistemic Agency and Judgment. Aquí amuestro un breu esquema d’as suyas intresants ideyas tocants a la creyencia, a chustificación y a confitanza.

Resumen (español): Hace unos días leí el artículo de Ernest Sosa Epistemic Agency and Judgment. Aquí muestro un pequeño esquema de sus interesantes ideas sobre la creencia, la justificación y la confianza.

For Sosa, beliefs that are shared are judgamental beliefs: beliefs that the agent is disposed to state and defend as she thinks they are true. So judgments cannot be arbitrary if we want them to be epistemically rationals: “free judgment is involved in a further epistemic paradox, deriving from a clash between diachronic reliability and synchronic rationality” (174).

While justifying beliefs, reflection comes into play. Nevertheless, when asking what a reflection is, we have two different kinds of reflection: a straight one and a higher-order one that turns back on itself. Moreover, there can be a conscious straight reflection, a conscious higher-order reflection and also both subconscious higher-order reflection and subconscious straight reflection. Anyway, the higher-order is important to manage risks while searching for truth when believing. Beyond a reliable (properly justified, if preferred) belief, there are second-order judgments and reflective competences. However, our everyday knowledge does not have to be always consciously reflective: in fact, that would originate many problems to people. It also should be noted that “conscioussness” emerges in both private an public contexts.

Reflection of the highest degree supposes reflective thought that is both conscious and higher-order: it is reliable enough. Its threat is that it can suppose a vicious circle or regress: requiring second-order endorsement supposes paying attention to the straight first-order belief and its justification resides precisely on the second-order reflection, and so on. Sosa refers to these second-order or higher-order capacities (reflection) like ‘human’ competences in contrast to the first-order capacities (instintive) that he calls ‘animal’ competences. I find the names quite polemic, and I also find that the distinction, thought interesting, is not accepted by everybody.

In his view both suspension of belief and proper reflection are second-order: in cases where suspension and judgment come into play, we have beliefs that obey to second-order intentions (justifications, reflections) that guide the believer implicitly. While suspending judgments, there is a double-omission: the omission of judging now and latter. These intentions may be committed to evidences. Our author also pays attention to a distinction between the act of judgment and the disposition to so judge (on others).

Behind this view of beliefs, judgments and reflection we have a difference between diachronical and synchronical causes while believing:

First, there is the status the belief gains diachronically through the subject’s experience, thought, and memory; no matter how internal such experience, thought, and memory may be over time, nor how internal the subject’s initial data may have been.

Second, there is the status a belief gains synchronically through the support of reasons present to the thinker’s consciousness at that very moment (185).

While considering how to judge, Sosa defends synchronic competences, the present-time-slice: “What you can consciously affirm depends on your synchornic rational basis” (188).

That relates justified judgment, second-order competences (reflection) with the synchronic thought, in order to precisely be able to assess both first-order and second-order competences, because scrutinized beliefs gains their prestige due to reflective, endorsement and current thinking.

References and bibliography

Sosa, E. (2013). Epistemic Agency and Judgment. Epistemic Norms: new essays on action, belief, and assertion (Littlejohn, C. & Turri, J.). Oxford University Press.