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Higher-Order Uncertainty

In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays (forthcoming)

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  1. Higher-Order Defeat Without Epistemic Dilemmas.Mattias Skipper - 2018 - Logos and Episteme 9 (4):451-465.
    Many epistemologists have endorsed a version of the view that rational belief is sensitive to higher-order defeat. That is to say, even a fully rational belief state can be defeated by misleading higher-order evidence, which indicates that the belief state is irrational. In a recent paper, however, Maria Lasonen-Aarnio calls this view into doubt. Her argument proceeds in two stages. First, she argues that higher-order defeat calls for a two-tiered theory of epistemic rationality. Secondly, she argues that there seems to (...)
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  • Higher-Order Defeat and the Impossibility of Self-Misleading Evidence.Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Evidentialism is the thesis, roughly, that one’s beliefs should fit one’s evidence. The enkratic principle is the thesis, roughly, that one’s beliefs should "line up" with one’s beliefs about which beliefs one ought to have. While both theses have seemed attractive to many, they jointly entail the controversial thesis that self-misleading evidence is impossible. That is to say, if evidentialism and the enkratic principle are both true, one’s evidence cannot support certain false beliefs about which beliefs one’s evidence supports. Recently, (...)
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  • Rational Moral Ignorance.Zach Barnett - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):645-664.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Evidence: A Guide for the Uncertain.Kevin Dorst - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):586-632.
    Assume that it is your evidence that determines what opinions you should have. I argue that since you should take peer disagreement seriously, evidence must have two features. (1) It must sometimes warrant being modest: uncertain what your evidence warrants, and (thus) uncertain whether you’re rational. (2) But it must always warrant being guided: disposed to treat your evidence as a guide. Surprisingly, it is very difficult to vindicate both (1) and (2). But diagnosing why this is so leads to (...)
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  • Be Modest: You're Living on the Edge.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Many have claimed that whenever an investigation might provide evidence for a claim, it might also provide evidence against it. Similarly, many have claimed that your credence should never be on the edge of the range of credences that you think might be rational. Surprisingly, both of these principles imply that you cannot rationally be modest: you cannot be uncertain what the rational opinions are.
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  • Climate Models and the Irrelevance of Chaos.Corey Dethier - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):997-1007.
    Philosophy of science has witnessed substantial recent debate over the existence of a structural analogue of chaos, which is alleged to spell trouble for certain uses of climate models. The debate over the analogy can and should be separated from its alleged epistemic implications: chaos-like behavior is neither necessary nor sufficient for small dynamical misrepresentations to generate erroneous results. The kind of sensitivity that matters in epistemology is one that induces unsafe beliefs, and the existence of a structural analogue to (...)
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  • (Almost) All Evidence is Higher-Order Evidence.Brian Hedden & Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Higher-order evidence is evidence about what’s rational to think in light of your evidence. Many have argued that it’s special—falling into its own evidential category, or leading to deviations from standard rational norms. But it’s not. Given standard assumptions, almost all evidence is (in part) 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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  • Rational Polarization.Kevin Dorst - manuscript
    Predictable polarization is everywhere: we can often predict how people’s opinions—including our own—will shift over time. Empirical studies suggest that this is so when evidence is ambiguous. That fact is often thought to demonstrate human irrationality. It doesn’t. Bayesians will predictably polarize iff their evidence is ambiguous. And ours often is: the process of cognitive search—searching a cognitively-accessible space for an item of a particular profile—yields ambiguous evidence that can predictably polarize beliefs, despite being expected to make them more accurate. (...)
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  • Being Rational and Being Wrong.Kevin Dorst - manuscript
    Do people tend to be overconfident in their opinions? Many think so. They’ve run studies to test whether people are calibrated: whether their 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 observed over-calibration, it’s inferred that people are irrationally overconfident. My question: When—and why—is this inference warranted? Answering this question requires articulating a general connection (...)
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  • Moral Discourse Boosts Confidence in Moral Judgments.Nora Heinzelmann, Benedikt Höltgen & Viet Tran - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34.
    The so-called “conciliatory” norm in epistemology and meta-ethics requires that an agent, upon encountering peer disagreement with her judgment, lower her confidence about that judgment. But whether agents actually abide by this norm is unclear. Although confidence is excessively researched in the empirical sciences, possible effects of disagreement on confidence have been understudied. Here, we target this lacuna, reporting a study that measured confidence about moral beliefs before and after exposure to moral discourse about a controversial issue. Our findings indicate (...)
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  • Higher-Order Evidence.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
    On at least one of its uses, ‘higher-order evidence’ refers to evidence about what opinions are rationalized by your evidence. This chapter surveys the foundational epistemological questions raised by such evidence, the methods that have proven useful for answering them, and the potential consequences and applications of such answers.
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  • Fragmentation and Higher-Order Evidence.Daniel Greco - forthcoming - In Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
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