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Brown, Jessica, , . Subject­-Sensitive Invariantism and the Knowledge Norm for Practical Reasoning
2008, Nous 42(2): 167-189.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Introduction: It is increasingly popular to suggest that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning, or reasoning about what to do (e.g. Hawthorne 2004, Stanley 2005). This idea is central to the defence of a new version of invariantism – ‘subject-sensitive invariantism’ – on which whether the true belief that p is knowledge not only depends on such factors as one’s evidence, and the reliability of the belief-producing process, but also the stakes or how important it is that p be true (the view is also known as ‘sensitive moderate invariantism’ (Hawthorne 2004) and ‘interest relative invariantism’ (Stanley 2005)). I will argue against the idea that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning, whether that is understood as a necessity or sufficiency claim. Instead, I will argue that the epistemic standards for practical reasoning vary contextually.

Comment: This paper nicely elucidates the debates on pragmatic encroachment in epistemology and presents main objections to the knowledge norm of practical reasoning. It is useful for teachings on pragmatic encroachment and the knowledge norm of practical reasoning in an upper-level undergraduate course on epistemology.

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Scrutton, Tasia, , . Why Not Believe in an Evil God? Pragmatic Encroachment and Some Implications for Philosophy of Religion
2016, Religious Studies 52(3): 345-360.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: Pointing to broad symmetries between the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent and all-good, and the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent but all-evil, the evil-God challenge raises the question of why theists should prefer one over the other. I respond to this challenge by drawing on a recent theory in epistemology, pragmatic encroachment, which asserts that practical considerations can alter the epistemic status of beliefs. I then explore some of the implications of my argument for how we do philosophy of religion, arguing that practical and contextual as well as alethic considerations are properly central to the discipline.

Comment: A thought-provoking paper to use when teaching non-classical conceptions of God, which I think would be useful in an undergraduate course after teaching classical conceptions of God. Omnibenevolence in particular is an attribute that isn't often construed in a non-classical way, which makes this paper particularly interesting.

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