Resistance to Evidence
This academic paper is a part of my dissertation.
Here is a summary of the paper:
Sometimes people resist evidence in the following sense: they are aware of something that merits a certain epistemic response and yet refuse to do it. Resistance takes different forms: in public life, people resist evidence on topics such as climate change or vaccines; feminist scientists who push back on long-standing scientific consensuses are sometimes held to be resisting evidence; mainstream scientists resist evidence that conflicts with their research programs.
Some degree of resistance is necessary for epistemic inquiries, as evidence typically point to different directions. However, many cases of resistance seem irrational or norm-violating in some other sense. I argue that analyzing resistance using traditional conceptions of evidence fails to distinguish ignorance from resistance and irrational resistance from rational resistance. The social view of evidence that I develop can properly distinguish between good and bad cases of resistance. Moreover, the social view exposes a political aspect of resistance to evidence.
The full paper is attached to this post.