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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2024
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Creative Commons:
Creative Common License - CC Creative Common License - BY Creative Common License - NC
This content is Open Access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence CC-BY-NC 4.0

Book description

We have increasingly sophisticated ways of acquiring and communicating knowledge, but efforts to spread this knowledge often encounter resistance to evidence. The phenomenon of resistance to evidence, while subject to thorough investigation in social psychology, is acutely under-theorised in the philosophical literature. Mona Simion's book is concerned with positive epistemology: it argues that we have epistemic obligations to update and form beliefs on available and undefeated evidence. In turn, our resistance to easily available evidence is unpacked as an instance of epistemic malfunctioning. Simion develops a full positive, integrated epistemological picture in conjunction with novel accounts of evidence, defeat, norms of inquiry, permissible suspension, and disinformation. Her book is relevant for anyone with an interest in the nature of evidence and justified belief and in the best ways to avoid the high-stakes practical consequences of evidence resistance in policy and practice. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


‘People who deny well established truths are an obtrusive feature of the contemporary world. Mona Simion argues that such denial manifests a breach of our epistemic obligation to respond to easily available evidence. As well as shedding light on an important phenomenon, she develops new accounts of evidence, defeat, disinformation and our obligations as inquirers. This rich and wide-ranging book will be essential reading for all epistemologists, as well as anyone interested in the root causes of so much contemporary political dysfunction.'

Neil Levy - University of Oxford

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Full book PDF
  • Resistance to Evidence
    pp i-i
  • Cambridge Studies in Philosophy - Series page
    pp ii-iv
  • Resistance to Evidence - Title page
    pp v-v
  • Copyright page
    pp vi-vi
  • Dedication
    pp vii-viii
  • Contents
    pp ix-xi
  • Acknowledgements
    pp xii-xiv
  • Introduction
    pp 1-6
  • Part I - The Epistemology and Psychology of Resistance to Evidence
    pp 7-92
  • Chapter 1 - Resistance to Evidence
    pp 9-22
  • Triggers and Epistemic Status
  • Chapter 2 - Evidence One Has and the Impermissibility of Resistance
    pp 23-35
  • Chapter 3 - Evidence You Should Have Had and Resistance
    pp 36-47
  • Chapter 4 - Permissible Suspension and Evidence Resistance
    pp 48-67
  • Chapter 5 - Resistance to Evidence, Epistemic Responsibility, and Epistemic Vice
    pp 68-92
  • Part II - Resistance to Evidence and Epistemic Proper Function
    pp 93-148
  • Chapter 6 - Resistance to Evidence as Epistemic Malfunction
    pp 95-110
  • Chapter 7 - Evidence as Knowledge Indicators
    pp 111-123
  • Chapter 8 - Defeaters as Ignorance Indicators
    pp 124-137
  • Chapter 9 - Inquiry and Permissible Suspension
    pp 138-148
  • Part III - Theoretical Upshots
    pp 149-191
  • Chapter 10 - Epistemic Oughts and Epistemic Dilemmas
    pp 151-164
  • Chapter 11 - Scepticism as Resistance to Evidence
    pp 165-177
  • Chapter 12 - Knowledge and Disinformation
    pp 178-191
  • Concluding Remarks
    pp 192-196
  • The Way Forward in Policy and Practice*
  • Bibliography
    pp 197-214
  • Index
    pp 215-216


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