Cover image of the journal Episteme

Alex Cunningham's “Epistemically Hypocritical Blame” to appear in Episteme

Philosophy PhD student Alex Cunningham's paper, "Epistemically Hypocritical Blame," has been accepted for publication in Episteme: A Journal of Individual and Social Epistemology. (An abstract of the paper is below.) This paper was also the winner of the 2023 Helen Stenner Memorial Prize.  Congratulations, Alex!

Abstract: It is uncontroversial that something goes wrong with the blaming practices of hypocrites. However, it is more difficult to pinpoint exactly what is objectionable about their blaming practices. I contend that, just as epistemologists have recently done with blame, we can constructively treat hypocrisy as admitting of an epistemic species. This paper has two objectives: first, to identify the epistemic fault in epistemically hypocritical blame, and second, to explain why epistemically hypocritical blamers lose their standing to epistemically blame. I tackle the first problem by appealing to an epistemic norm of consistency. I address the second by arguing that the epistemically hypocritical blamer commits to an opting-out of the set of shared epistemic standards that importantly underlies our standing to epistemically blame. I argue further that being epistemically hypocritical undermines a blamer’s standing even to judge epistemically blameworthy.