Here’s a lighthearted example for a holiday weekend. Some background: my son often helps his girlfriend babysit for a brother/sister pair who are 3 and 5. He told my wife a story about one of them being unable to make the ‘m’ sound, so instead of saying, “I want to see a movie,” what comes out is “I want to see a wovie.”
Carol (my wife) asks me, “which of S and C would you expect the story to be true of?” I answered, “the older one, because you wouldn’t be asking me if it were the younger.” Pissed her off because she thinks the obvious answer is the younger one. So I told her I was taking into account the additional evidence that she was asking me the question.
In reflecting on the example, I wonder if it would be irrational (or unjustified, if you prefer), after being asked, to still think that the answer is the younger one. To do so, you’d have to fail to take account of the fact that you are being asked the question. Moreover, it’s not as if you didn’t notice that you were being asked, and you also know that it is relevant to the answer in question. So it’s evidence regarding the correct answer, and it’s evidence you possess. But it’s hard to see how the view that the correct answer is “the younger” is irrational. If asked about the implications of being asked the question, the answer would likely be: “Oh, I didn’t think of that.” And that’s a legitimate excuse.
If both answers can be rational, evidentialists need to talk both about the nature of your evidence and what you make of it, in order to allow the rationality of both answers. The phrase “the totality of your evidence” must include both the evidence and what one makes of it. Counting the latter as part of the totality of one’s evidence strikes me as a bit of a stretch, but I won’t press that point here.
The alternative is to say that you are irrational if you answer “the younger”. That seems wrong, and the fact that my wife is still pissed off at me for ruining the story is evidence that it’s not irrational (I believe I heard the remark “why can’t you just be normal sometimes”)…