Catherine Z. Elgin
Papers on Epistemic Normativity
Impartiality and Legal Reasoning
(Imagination, Emotion, and Virtue in Legal Reasoning
ed. Amalya Amaya and Maksymillian Del Mar. London, Hart,
2019, pp. 47-58.)
Any viable legal system should respect two principles.
Consistency: Like cases should be treated alike.
Publicity: Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.
These principles set constraints on the roles that emotions,
imagination, and virtues can legitimately play in judicial decisions.
I explore the ways emotion imagination and virtue might contribute to
judicial decision making without violating the constraints.
The Epistemic Normativity of Knowing-How
(Abel im Dialog: Perspectiven der Zeichen-
ed. Ulrich Dirks and Astrid Wagner. Berlin, DeGruyter,
2018, pp. 483-498.)
The Commonwealth of Epistemic Ends
(The Ethics of Belief
ed. Jonathan Matheson. Oxford, 2014, pp. 244-260.)
(Philosophical Papers 27, 2008, pp. 371-387.)
I argue that trustworthiness is an epistemic desideratum. It
does not reduce to justified or reliable true belief, but
figures in the reason why justified or reliable true beliefs
are often valuable. Such can be precarious. If a belief's
being justified requires that the evidence be just as we
take it to be, then if we are off even by a little, the
belief is unwarranted. Similarly for reliability. Although
it satisfies the definition of knowledge, such a belief is
not trustworthy. We ought not use it as a basis for
inference or action and ought not give others to believe
it. The trustworthiness of a belief, I urge, depends on its
being backed by reasons - considerations that other members
of the appropriate epistemic community cannot reasonably
reject. Trustworthiness is intersubjective. It both depends
on and contributes to the evolving cognitive values of an
Optional Stops, Foregone Conclusions, and
the Value of Argument
(Croatian Journal of Philosophy Vol. IV,
No. 12, 2004.)
If the point of argument is to produce conviction, an
argument for a foregone conclusion is pointless. I maintain,
however, that an argument makes a variety of cognitive
contributions, even when its conclusion is already
believed. It exhibits warrant. It affords reasons that we
can impart to others. It identifies bases for agreement
among parties who otherwise disagree. It underwrites
confidence, by showing how vulnerable warrant is under
changes in background assumptions. Multiple arguments for
the same conclusion show how our beliefs hang together.
What's the Use?
(The Hedgehog Review Vol. 3, No. 3, 2001, pp. 9-25.)