Saturday, April 19, 2008
Suspicion and Epistemology
I have been trying in vain for some time to find any contemporary epistemological literature on the cognitive act of suspicion, as in "I suspect, but am not really sure, that Jane is hiding something from John". I suppose that "suspecting that X" might be conflated in the literature with "believing that X is probable", but if so that would be useless to me: there are in fact very good reasons for distinguishing the two. (For one thing, you can suspect without assessing probability, based on a very tiny bit of evidence; for another thing, you can suspect without having a clear idea of whether the evidence makes the suspicion probable or not -- this seems a common enough feature of the pursuit of truth.) There are a few things I'm looking at, on abduction and Peirce, that are potentially relevant; but it's unclear at present how relevant it is. So, since it is turning out quite fruitless, I thought I'd ask some of my readers who are more up on current literature in epistemology whether they've run across anything relatively contemporary that's in the ballpark.