Philosophical Studies

, Volume 162, Issue 2, pp 165–181 | Cite as

Suspended judgment

  • Jane FriedmanEmail author


In this paper I undertake an in-depth examination of an oft mentioned but rarely expounded upon state: suspended judgment. While traditional epistemology is sometimes characterized as presenting a “yes or no” picture of its central attitudes, in fact many of these epistemologists want to say that there is a third option: subjects can also suspend judgment. Discussions of suspension are mostly brief and have been less than clear on a number of issues, in particular whether this third option should be thought of as an attitude or not. In this paper I argue that suspended judgment is (or at least involves) a genuine attitude.


Epistemology Doxastic attitudes Suspended judgment Withholding belief Agnosticism Indecision Belief 



I would like to thank audiences in Oxford, at the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society in Norwich, and at a conference on the nature of belief in Odense for helpful discussion. I would also like to thank referees for this journal, as well as John Hawthorne, Jennifer Nagel, Scott Sturgeon, and especially Tim Williamson for invaluable comments and criticism.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St Catherine’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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