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  1. Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
    Recent authors have drawn attention to a new kind of defeating evidence commonly referred to as higher-order evidence. Such evidence works by inducing doubts that one’s doxastic state is the result of a flawed process – for instance, a process brought about by a reason-distorting drug. I argue that accommodating defeat by higher-order evidence requires a two-tiered theory of justification, and that the phenomenon gives rise to a puzzle. The puzzle is that at least in some situations involving higher-order defeaters (...)
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  • The Archimedean Urge.Amia Srinivasan - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):325-362.
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  • A Liar-Like Paradox for Rational Reflection Principles.Joshua Schechter - 2024 - Analysis 84 (2):292-300.
    This article shows that there is a liar-like paradox that arises for rational credence that relies only on very weak logical and credal principles. The paradox depends on a weak rational reflection principle, logical principles governing conjunction, and principles governing the relationship between rational credence and proof. To respond to this paradox, we must either reject even very weak rational reflection principles or reject some highly plausible logical or credal principle.
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  • Extremists are more confident.Nora Heinzelmann & Viet Tran - 2022 - Erkenntnis (5).
    Metacognitive mental states are mental states about mental states. For example, I may be uncertain whether my belief is correct. In social discourse, an interlocutor’s metacognitive certainty may constitute evidence about the reliability of their testimony. For example, if a speaker is certain that their belief is correct, then we may take this as evidence in favour of their belief, or its content. This paper argues that, if metacognitive certainty is genuine evidence, then it is disproportionate evidence for extreme beliefs. (...)
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  • Dynamic Introspection.Michael Cohen - 2021 - Dissertation, Stanford University
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  • Deference Done Better.Kevin Dorst, Benjamin A. Levinstein, Bernhard Salow, Brooke E. Husic & Branden Fitelson - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):99-150.
    There are many things—call them ‘experts’—that you should defer to in forming your opinions. The trouble is, many experts are modest: they’re less than certain that they are worthy of deference. When this happens, the standard theories of deference break down: the most popular (“Reflection”-style) principles collapse to inconsistency, while their most popular (“New-Reflection”-style) variants allow you to defer to someone while regarding them as an anti-expert. We propose a middle way: deferring to someone involves preferring to make any decision (...)
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  • Changes in attitude.Daniel Drucker - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):151-169.
    I formulate and tentatively defend the view that we cannot be rationally required to have one type of doxastic attitude (e.g., beliefs, credences, imprecise credences, etc.) because we have another type; in other words, we can only be required to have, say, given credences because we have some other credences already. I explore an argument that appeals to the idea that there is no good reasoning from one type to the other type. I consider some important possible responses, and conclude (...)
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  • Being Rational and Being Wrong.Kevin Dorst - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23 (1).
    Do people tend to be overconfident? Many think so. They’ve run studies on whether people are calibrated: whether their average confidence in their opinions matches the proportion of those opinions that are true. Under certain conditions, people are systematically ‘over-calibrated’—for example, of the opinions they’re 80% confident in, only 60% are true. From this empirical over-calibration, it’s inferred that people are irrationally overconfident. My question: When and why is this inference warranted? Answering it requires articulating a general connection between being (...)
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  • The Epistemic Function of Higher-Order Evidence.Declan Smithies - 2022 - In Paul Silva & Luis R. G. Oliveira (eds.), Propositional and Doxastic Justification: New Essays on their Nature and Significance. New York: Routledge. pp. 97-120.
    This chapter provides a critical overview of several influential proposals about the epistemic function of higher-order evidence. I start by criticizing accounts of higher-order evidence that appeal to evidential defeat (§1), epistemic conflicts (§2), and unreasonable knowledge (§3). Next, I propose an alternative account that appeals to a combination of improper basing (§4) and non-ideal rationality (§5). Finally, I conclude by summarizing my reasons for preferring this account of higher-order evidence to the alternatives (§6).
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  • Knowledge of Our Own Beliefs.Sherrilyn Roush - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):45-69.
    There is a widespread view that in order to be rational we must mostly know what we believe. In the probabilistic tradition this is defended by arguments that a person who failed to have this knowledge would be vulnerable to sure loss, or probabilistically incoherent. I argue that even gross failure to know one's own beliefs need not expose one to sure loss, and does not if we follow a generalization of the standard bridge principle between first-order and second-order beliefs. (...)
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  • Is higher-order evidence evidence?Eyal Tal - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3157-3175.
    Suppose we learn that we have a poor track record in forming beliefs rationally, or that a brilliant colleague thinks that we believe P irrationally. Does such input require us to revise those beliefs whose rationality is in question? When we gain information suggesting that our beliefs are irrational, we are in one of two general cases. In the first case we made no error, and our beliefs are rational. In that case the input to the contrary is misleading. In (...)
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  • Epistemic Akrasia: No Apology Required.David Christensen - 2022 - Noûs 1 (online first):1-22.
    It is natural to think that rationality imposes some relationship between what a person believes, and what she believes about what she’s rational to believe. Epistemic akrasia—for example, believing P while believing that P is not rational to believe in your situation—is often seen as intrinsically irrational. This paper argues otherwise. In certain cases, akrasia is intuitively rational. Understanding why akratic beliefs in those case are indeed rational provides a deeper explanation how typical akratic beliefs are irrational—an explanation that does (...)
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  • Epistemic akrasia: No apology required.David Christensen - 2024 - Noûs 58 (1):54-76.
    It is natural to think that rationality imposes some relationship between what a person believes, and what she believes about what she’s rational to believe. Epistemic akrasia—for example, believing P while believing that P is not rational to believe in your situation—is often seen as intrinsically irrational. This paper argues otherwise. In certain cases, akrasia is intuitively rational. Understanding why akratic beliefs in those case are indeed rational provides a deeper explanation how typical akratic beliefs are irrational—an explanation that does (...)
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  • Imprecise evidence without imprecise credences.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2735-2758.
    Does rationality require imprecise credences? Many hold that it does: imprecise evidence requires correspondingly imprecise credences. I argue that this is false. The imprecise view faces the same arbitrariness worries that were meant to motivate it in the first place. It faces these worries because it incorporates a certain idealization. But doing away with this idealization effectively collapses the imprecise view into a particular kind of precise view. On this alternative, our attitudes should reflect a kind of normative uncertainty: uncertainty (...)
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  • A modesty proposal.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3581-3601.
    Accuracy-first epistemology aims to show that the norms of epistemic rationality can be derived from the effective pursuit of accuracy. This paper explores the prospects within accuracy-first epistemology for vindicating “modesty”: the thesis that ideal rationality permits uncertainty about one’s own rationality. I argue that accuracy-first epistemology faces serious challenges in accommodating three forms of modesty: uncertainty about what priors are rational, uncertainty about whether one’s update policy is rational, and uncertainty about what one’s evidence is. I argue that the (...)
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  • Disclaiming epistemic Akrasia: arguments and commentaries.Veronica S. Campos - 2020 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 24 (2).
    In many ways one’s quest for knowledge can go wrong. Since the publication ofAmélie Rorty’s article “Akratic Believers”, in 1983, there has been a great deal of discussion asto one particular form of flaw in reasoning to which we, as less-than-perfect rational entities,are continuously prone to in our epistemic endeavors: “epistemicakrasia”. The debate that article gave rise became, then, split between authors to whom the ideaof epistemicakrasiapromotes an interesting diagnosis of some of our intellectual imperfec-tions, and their opponents, those who (...)
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  • Resolving Turri's Puzzle about Withholding.Sebastian Becker - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (2):229-243.
    Turri describes a case in which a group of experts apparently correctly advise you not to withhold on a proposition P, but where your evidence neither supports believing nor disbelieving P. He claims that this presents a puzzle about withholding: on the one hand, it seems that you should not withhold on P, since the experts say so. On the other hand, we have the intuition that you should neither believe nor disbelieve P, since your evidence doesn't support it. Thus, (...)
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  • Discussion of James Pryor's “The Merits of Incoherence”.Ori Beck, Anil Gupta, Adrian Haddock, James Pryor & Declan Smithies - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (1):142-148.
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  • Don’t Look Now.Bernhard Salow & Arif Ahmed - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):327-350.
    Good’s theorem is the apparent platitude that it is always rational to ‘look before you leap’: to gather information before making a decision when doing so is free. We argue that Good’s theorem is not platitudinous and may be false. And we argue that the correct advice is rather to ‘make your act depend on the answer to a question’. Looking before you leap is rational when, but only when, it is a way to do this.
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  • Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.
    This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...)
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  • Deference and Uniqueness.Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):709-732.
    Deference principles are principles that describe when, and to what extent, it’s rational to defer to others. Recently, some authors have used such principles to argue for Evidential Uniqueness, the claim that for every batch of evidence, there’s a unique doxastic state that it’s permissible for subjects with that total evidence to have. This paper has two aims. The first aim is to assess these deference-based arguments for Evidential Uniqueness. I’ll show that these arguments only work given a particular kind (...)
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  • Higher-Order Evidence and the Dynamics of Self-Location: An Accuracy-Based Argument for Calibrationism.Brett Topey - 2022 - Erkenntnis 89 (4):1407-1433.
    The thesis that agents should calibrate their beliefs in the face of higher-order evidence—i.e., should adjust their first-order beliefs in response to evidence suggesting that the reasoning underlying those beliefs is faulty—is sometimes thought to be in tension with Bayesian approaches to belief update: in order to obey Bayesian norms, it’s claimed, agents must remain steadfast in the face of higher-order evidence. But I argue that this claim is incorrect. In particular, I motivate a minimal constraint on a reasonable treatment (...)
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  • Superconditioning.Simon M. Huttegger - 2024 - Philosophical Studies 181 (4):811-833.
    When can a shift from a prior to a posterior be represented by conditionalization? A well-known result, known as “superconditioning” and going back to work by Diaconis and Zabell, gives a sharp answer. This paper extends the result and connects it to the reflection principle and common priors. I show that a shift from a prior to a set of posteriors can be represented within a conditioning model if and only if the prior and the posteriors are connected via a (...)
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  • You just believe that because….Roger White - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):573-615.
    I believe that Tom is the proud father of a baby boy. Why do I think his child is a boy? A natural answer might be that I remember that his name is ‘Owen’ which is usually a boy’s name. Here I’ve given information that might be part of a causal explanation of my believing that Tom’s baby is a boy. I do have such a memory and it is largely what sustains my conviction. But I haven’t given you just (...)
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  • Epistemic Dilemmas: A Guide.Nick Hughes - forthcoming - In Essays on Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press.
    This is an opinionated guide to the literature on epistemic dilemmas. It discusses seven kinds of situations where epistemic dilemmas appear to arise; dilemmic, dilemmish, and non-dilemmic takes on them; and objections to dilemmic views along with dilemmist’s replies to them.
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  • Problems for Credulism.James Pryor - 2013 - In Chris Tucker (ed.), Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism. New York: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 89–131.
    We have several intuitive paradigms of defeating evidence. For example, let E be the fact that Ernie tells me that the notorious pet Precious is a bird. This supports the premise F, that Precious can fly. However, Orna gives me *opposing* evidence. She says that Precious is a dog. Alternatively, defeating evidence might not oppose Ernie's testimony in that direct way. There might be other ways for it to weaken the support that Ernie's testimony gives me for believing F, without (...)
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  • Higher-Order Defeat and Doxastic Resilience.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2019 - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    It seems obvious that when higher-order evidence makes it rational for one to doubt that one’s own belief on some matter is rational, this can undermine the rationality of that belief. This is known as higher-order defeat. However, despite its intuitive plausibility, it has proved puzzling how higher-order defeat works, exactly. To highlight two prominent sources of puzzlement, higher-order defeat seems to defy being understood in terms of conditionalization; and higher-order defeat can sometimes place agents in what seem like epistemic (...)
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  • Higher-order uncertainty.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    You have higher-order uncertainty iff you are uncertain of what opinions you should have. I defend three claims about it. First, the higher-order evidence debate can be helpfully reframed in terms of higher-order uncertainty. The central question becomes how your first- and higher-order opinions should relate—a precise question that can be embedded within a general, tractable framework. Second, this question is nontrivial. Rational higher-order uncertainty is pervasive, and lies at the foundations of the epistemology of disagreement. Third, the answer is (...)
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  • Living on the Edge: Against Epistemic Permissivism.Ginger Schultheis - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):863-879.
    Epistemic Permissivists face a special problem about the relationship between our first- and higher-order attitudes. They claim that rationality often permits a range of doxastic responses to the evidence. Given plausible assumptions about the relationship between your first- and higher-order attitudes, it can't be rational to adopt a credence on the edge of that range. But Permissivism says that, for some such range, any credence in that range is rational. Permissivism, in its traditional form, cannot be right. I consider some (...)
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  • Peer Disagreement, Evidence, and Well-Groundedness.Han van Wietmarschen - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):395-425.
    The central question of the peer disagreement debate is: what should you believe about the disputed proposition if you have good reason to believe that an epistemic peer disagrees with you? This article shows that this question is ambiguous between evidential support (or propositional justification) and well-groundedness (or doxastic justification). The discussion focuses on conciliatory views, according to which peer disagreements require you to significantly revise your view or to suspend judgment. The article argues that for a wide range of (...)
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  • The Level-Splitting View and the Non-Akrasia Constraint.Marco Tiozzo - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):917-923.
    Some philosophers have defended the idea that in cases of all-things-considered misleading higher-order evidence it is rational to take divergent doxastic attitudes to p and E supports p. In a recent paper, Sophie Horowitz has argued that such “Level-Splitting views” are implausible since they violate a rational requirement she calls the Non-Akrasia Constraint. In this paper, I argue that Horowitz’s objection is misguided since it conflates two distinct notions of epistemic rationality.
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  • A non-probabilist principle of higher-order reasoning.William J. Talbott - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    The author uses a series of examples to illustrate two versions of a new, nonprobabilist principle of epistemic rationality, the special and general versions of the metacognitive, expected relative frequency principle. These are used to explain the rationality of revisions to an agent’s degrees of confidence in propositions based on evidence of the reliability or unreliability of the cognitive processes responsible for them—especially reductions in confidence assignments to propositions antecedently regarded as certain—including certainty-reductions to instances of the law of excluded (...)
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  • Respecting all the evidence.Paulina Sliwa & Sophie Horowitz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2835-2858.
    Plausibly, you should believe what your total evidence supports. But cases of misleading higher-order evidence—evidence about what your evidence supports—present a challenge to this thought. In such cases, taking both first-order and higher-order evidence at face value leads to a seemingly irrational incoherence between one’s first-order and higher-order attitudes: you will believe P, but also believe that your evidence doesn’t support P. To avoid sanctioning tension between epistemic levels, some authors have abandoned the thought that both first-order and higher-order evidence (...)
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  • Does rationality demand higher-order certainty?Mattias Skipper - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11561-11585.
    Should you always be certain about what you should believe? In other words, does rationality demand higher-order certainty? First answer: Yes! Higher-order uncertainty can’t be rational, since it breeds at least a mild form of epistemic akrasia. Second answer: No! Higher-order certainty can’t be rational, since it licenses a dogmatic kind of insensitivity to higher-order evidence. Which answer wins out? The first, I argue. Once we get clearer about what higher-order certainty is, a view emerges on which higher-order certainty does (...)
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  • Etiological information and diminishing justification.Paul Silva - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):1-25.
    Sometimes it’s reasonable to reduce confidence in a proposition in response to gaining etiological information. Suppose, for example, a theist learns that her theism is ‘due to’ her religious upbringing. There is a clear range of cases where it would be reasonable for her to respond by slightly decreasing her confidence in God’s existence. So long as reasonability and justification are distinct, this reasonability claim would appear consistent with the thesis that this kind of etiological information cannot, all by itself, (...)
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  • 1% Skepticism.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):271-290.
    A 1% skeptic is someone who has about a 99% credence in non-skeptical realism and about a 1% credence in the disjunction of all radically skeptical scenarios combined. The first half of this essay defends the epistemic rationality of 1% skepticism, appealing to dream skepticism, simulation skepticism, cosmological skepticism, and wildcard skepticism. The second half of the essay explores the practical behavioral consequences of 1% skepticism, arguing that 1% skepticism need not be behaviorally inert.
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  • A Dilemma for Calibrationism.Miriam Schoenfield - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):425-455.
    The aim of this paper is to describe a problem for calibrationism: a view about higher order evidence according to which one's credences should be calibrated to one's expected degree of reliability. Calibrationism is attractive, in part, because it explains our intuitive judgments, and provides a strong motivation for certain theories about higher order evidence and peer disagreement. However, I will argue that calibrationism faces a dilemma: There are two versions of the view one might adopt. The first version, I (...)
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  • The Externalist’s Guide to Fishing for Compliments.Bernhard Salow - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):691-728.
    Suppose you’d like to believe that p, whether or not it’s true. What can you do to help? A natural initial thought is that you could engage in Intentionally Biased Inquiry : you could look into whether p, but do so in a way that you expect to predominantly yield evidence in favour of p. This paper hopes to do two things. The first is to argue that this initial thought is mistaken: intentionally biased inquiry is impossible. The second is (...)
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  • Lewis on iterated knowledge.Bernhard Salow - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1571-1590.
    The status of the knowledge iteration principles in the account provided by Lewis in “Elusive Knowledge” is disputed. By distinguishing carefully between what in the account describes the contribution of the attributor’s context and what describes the contribution of the subject’s situation, we can resolve this dispute in favour of Holliday’s claim that the iteration principles are rendered invalid. However, that is not the end of the story. For Lewis’s account still predicts that counterexamples to the negative iteration principle ) (...)
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  • Elusive Externalism.Bernhard Salow - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):397-427.
    Epistemologists have recently noted a tension between (i) denying access internalism, and (ii) maintaining that rational agents cannot be epistemically akratic, believing claims akin to ‘p, but I shouldn’t believe p’. I bring out the tension, and develop a new way to resolve it. The basic strategy is to say that access internalism is false, but that counterexamples to it are ‘elusive’ in a way that prevents rational agents from suspecting that they themselves are counterexamples to the internalist principles. I (...)
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  • General Dynamic Triviality Theorems.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & John Hawthorne - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (3):307-339.
    Famous results by David Lewis show that plausible-sounding constraints on the probabilities of conditionals or evaluative claims lead to unacceptable results, by standard probabilistic reasoning. Existing presentations of these results rely on stronger assumptions than they really need. When we strip these arguments down to a minimal core, we can see both how certain replies miss the mark, and also how to devise parallel arguments for other domains, including epistemic “might,” probability claims, claims about comparative value, and so on. A (...)
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  • Updating as Communication.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):225-248.
    Traditional procedures for rational updating fail when it comes to self-locating opinions, such as your credences about where you are and what time it is. This paper develops an updating procedure for rational agents with self-locating beliefs. In short, I argue that rational updating can be factored into two steps. The first step uses information you recall from your previous self to form a hypothetical credence distribution, and the second step changes this hypothetical distribution to reflect information you have genuinely (...)
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  • How Many Normative Notions of Rationality? A Critical Study of Wedgwood’s The Value of Rationality.Giacomo Melis - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):174-185.
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  • Permissive Rationality and Sensitivity.Benjamin Anders Levinstein - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):342-370.
    Permissivism about rationality is the view that there is sometimes more than one rational response to a given body of evidence. In this paper I discuss the relationship between permissivism, deference to rationality, and peer disagreement. I begin by arguing that—contrary to popular opinion—permissivism supports at least a moderate version of conciliationism. I then formulate a worry for permissivism. I show that, given a plausible principle of rational deference, permissive rationality seems to become unstable and to collapse into unique rationality. (...)
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  • Accuracy, Deference, and Chance.Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2023 - Philosophical Review 132 (1):43-87.
    Chance both guides our credences and is an objective feature of the world. How and why we should conform our credences to chance depends on the underlying metaphysical account of what chance is. I use considerations of accuracy (how close your credences come to truth-values) to propose a new way of deferring to chance. The principle I endorse, called the Trust Principle, requires chance to be a good guide to the world, permits modest chances, tells us how to listen to (...)
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  • “I'm onto Something!” Learning about the World by Learning What I Think about It.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):267-297.
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  • Enkrasia or evidentialism? Learning to love mismatch.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):597-632.
    I formulate a resilient paradox about epistemic rationality, discuss and reject various solutions, and sketch a way out. The paradox exemplifies a tension between a wide range of views of epistemic justification, on the one hand, and enkratic requirements on rationality, on the other. According to the enkratic requirements, certain mismatched doxastic states are irrational, such as believing p, while believing that it is irrational for one to believe p. I focus on an evidentialist view of justification on which a (...)
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  • Disagreement and Evidential Attenuation.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):767-794.
    What sort of doxastic response is rational to learning that one disagrees with an epistemic peer who has evaluated the same evidence? I argue that even weak general recommendations run the risk of being incompatible with a pair of real epistemic phenomena, what I call evidential attenuation and evidential amplification. I focus on a popular and intuitive view of disagreement, the equal weight view. I take it to state that in cases of peer disagreement, a subject ought to end up (...)
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  • A Rational Agent With Our Evidence.Dominik Kauss - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    This paper discusses a scenario borrowed from Williamson (2000) and repurposes it to argue for the possibility of conflict between two prima facie categorical norms of epistemic rationality: the norm to respect one’s evidence and the norm to be coherent. It is argued, pace Williamson, that in the conflict defining the scenario, the evidence norm overrides the coherence norm; that a rational agent with our evidence would lack evidence about some of their own credences; and that for agents whose evidence (...)
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  • Updating without evidence.Yoaav Isaacs & Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2023 - Noûs 57 (3):576-599.
    Sometimes you are unreliable at fulfilling your doxastic plans: for example, if you plan to be fully confident in all truths, probably you will end up being fully confident in some falsehoods by mistake. In some cases, there is information that plays the classical role of evidence—your beliefs are perfectly discriminating with respect to some possible facts about the world—and there is a standard expected‐accuracy‐based justification for planning to conditionalize on this evidence. This planning‐oriented justification extends to some cases where (...)
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