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Time-Slice Rationality

Mind 124 (494):449-491 (2015)

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  1. Epistemic Value and the Jamesian Goals.Sophie Horowitz - forthcoming - In Jeffrey Dunn Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
    William James famously tells us that there are two main goals for rational believers: believing truth and avoiding error. I argues that epistemic consequentialism—in particular its embodiment in epistemic utility theory—seems to be well positioned to explain how epistemic agents might permissibly weight these goals differently and adopt different credences as a result. After all, practical versions of consequentialism render it permissible for agents with different goals to act differently in the same situation. -/- Nevertheless, I argue that epistemic consequentialism (...)
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  • Epistemic Teleology: Synchronic and Diachronic.Ralph Wedgwood - 2018 - In Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij & Jeff Dunn (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 85-112.
    According to a widely held view of the matter, whenever we assess beliefs as ‘rational’ or ‘justified’, we are making normative judgements about those beliefs. In this discussion, I shall simply assume, for the sake of argument, that this view is correct. My goal here is to explore a particular approach to understanding the basic principles that explain which of these normative judgements are true. Specifically, this approach is based on the assumption that all such normative principles are grounded in (...)
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  • If There Are No Diachronic Norms of Rationality, Why Does It Seem Like There Are?Ryan Doody - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):141-173.
    I offer an explanation for why certain sequences of decisions strike us as irrational while others do not. I argue that we have a standing desire to tell flattering yet plausible narratives about ourselves, and that cases of diachronic behavior that strike us as irrational are those in which you had the opportunity to hide something unflattering and failed to do so.
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  • A “Good” Explanation of Five Puzzles About Reasons.Stephen Finlay - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):62-104.
    This paper champions the view (REG) that the concept of a normative reason for an agent S to perform an action A is that of an explanation why it would be good (in some way, to some degree) for S to do A. REG has numerous virtues, but faces some significant challenges which prompt many philosophers to be skeptical that it can correctly account for all our reasons. I demonstrate how five different puzzles about normative reasons can be solved by (...)
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  • From Values to Probabilities.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3901-3929.
    According to the fitting-attitude analysis of value, to be valuable is to be a fitting object of a pro-attitude. In earlier publications, setting off from this format of analysis, I proposed a modelling of value relations which makes room for incommensurability in value. In this paper, I first recapitulate the value modelling and then move on to suggest adopting a structurally similar analysis of probability. Indeed, many probability theorists from Poisson onwards did adopt an analysis of this kind. This move (...)
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  • Permissivism, Underdetermination, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson & Margaret Greta Turnbull - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-13.
    Permissivism is the thesis that, for some body of evidence and a proposition p, there is more than one rational doxastic attitude any agent with that evidence can take toward p. Proponents of uniqueness deny permissivism, maintaining that every body of evidence always determines a single rational doxastic attitude. In this paper, we explore the debate between permissivism and uniqueness about evidence, outlining some of the major arguments on each side. We then consider how permissivism can be understood as an (...)
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  • Uniqueness and Metaepistemology.Daniel Greco & Brian Hedden - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (8):365-395.
    We defend Uniqueness, the claim that given a body of total evidence, there is a uniquely rational doxastic state that it is rational for one to be in. Epistemic rationality doesn't give you any leeway in forming your beliefs. To this end, we bring in two metaepistemological pictures about the roles played by rational evaluations. Rational evaluative terms serve to guide our practices of deference to the opinions of others, and also to help us formulate contingency plans about what to (...)
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  • Basic‐Know And Super‐Know.Anna Mahtani - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):375-391.
    Sometimes a proposition is ‘opaque’ to an agent: he doesn't know it, but he does know something about how coming to know it should affect his or her credence function. It is tempting to assume that a rational agent's credence function coheres in a certain way with his or her knowledge of these opaque propositions, and I call this the ‘Opaque Proposition Principle’. The principle is compelling but demonstrably false. I explain this incongruity by showing that the principle is ambiguous: (...)
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  • Diachronic Norms for Self-Locating Beliefs.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    How should rational beliefs change over time? The standard Bayesian answer is: by conditionalization (a.k.a. Bayes’ Rule). But conditionalization is not an adequate rule for updating beliefs in “centred” propositions whose truth-value may itself change over time. In response, some have suggested that the objects of belief must be uncentred; others have suggested that beliefs in centred propositions are not subject to diachronic norms. Iargue that these views do not offer a satisfactory account of self-locating beliefs and their dynamics. A (...)
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  • Mental Processes and Synchronicity.Brian Hedden - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):873-888.
    I have advocated a time-slice-centric model of rationality, according to which there are no diachronic requirements of rationality. Podgorski challenges this picture on the grounds that temporally extended mental processes are epistemically important, rationally evaluable, and governed by diachronic requirements. I argue that the particular cases that Podgorski marshals to make his case are unconvincing, but that his general challenge might motivate countenancing rational requirements on processes like reasoning. However, so long as such diachronic requirements are merely derivative of more (...)
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  • Plausible Permissivism.Michael G. Titelbaum & Matthew Kopec - manuscript
    Abstract. Richard Feldman’s Uniqueness Thesis holds that “a body of evidence justifies at most one proposition out of a competing set of proposi- tions”. The opposing position, permissivism, allows distinct rational agents to adopt differing attitudes towards a proposition given the same body of evidence. We assess various motivations that have been offered for Uniqueness, including: concerns about achieving consensus, a strong form of evidentialism, worries about epistemically arbitrary influences on belief, a focus on truth-conduciveness, and consequences for peer disagreement. (...)
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  • Dynamic Permissivism.Abelard Podgorski - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1923-1939.
    There has been considerable philosophical debate in recent years over a thesis called epistemic permissivism. According to the permissivist, it is possible for two agents to have the exact same total body of evidence and yet differ in their belief attitudes towards some proposition, without either being irrational. However, I argue, not enough attention has been paid to the distinction between different ways in which permissivism might be true. In this paper, I present a taxonomy of forms of epistemic permissivism (...)
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  • Ur-Priors, Conditionalization, and Ur-Prior Conditionalization.Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    Conditionalization is a widely endorsed rule for updating one’s beliefs. But a sea of complaints have been raised about it, including worries regarding how the rule handles error correction, changing desiderata of theory choice, evidence loss, self-locating beliefs, learning about new theories, and confirmation. In light of such worries, a number of authors have suggested replacing Conditionalization with a different rule — one that appeals to what I’ll call “ur-priors”. But different authors have understood the rule in different ways, and (...)
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  • Future-Bias and Practical Reason.Tom Dougherty - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    Nearly everyone prefers pain to be in the past rather than the future. This seems like a rationally permissible preference. But I argue that appearances are misleading, and that future-biased preferences are in fact irrational. My argument appeals to trade-offs between hedonic experiences and other goods. I argue that we are rationally required to adopt an exchange rate between a hedonic experience and another type of good that stays fixed, regardless of whether the hedonic experience is in the past or (...)
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  • The Rationality of Emotional Change: Toward a Process View.Oded Na'aman - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The paper argues against a widely held synchronic view of emotional rationality. I begin by considering recent philosophical literature on various backward‐looking emotions, such as regret, grief, resentment, and anger. I articulate the general problem these accounts grapple with: a certain diminution in backward‐looking emotions seems fitting while the reasons for these emotions seem to persist. The problem, I argue, rests on the assumption that if the facts that give reason for an emotion remain unchanged, the emotion remains fitting. However, (...)
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  • Options must be external.Justis Koon - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1175-1189.
    Brian Hedden has proposed that any successful account of options for the subjective “ought” must satisfy two constraints: first, it must ensure that we are able to carry out each of the options available to us, and second, it should guarantee that the set of options available to us supervenes on our mental states. In this paper I show that, due to the ever-present possibility of Frankfurt-style cases, these two constraints jointly entail that no agent has any options at any (...)
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  • The Courage of Conviction.Sarah K. Paul - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):1-23.
    Is there a sense in which we exercise direct volitional control over our beliefs? Most agree that there is not, but discussions tend to focus on control in forming a belief. The focus here is on sustaining a belief over time in the face of ‘epistemic temptation’ to abandon it. It is argued that we do have a capacity for ‘doxastic self-control’ over time that is partly volitional in nature, and that its exercise is rationally permissible.
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  • A Reply to the Synchronist.Abelard Podgorski - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):859-871.
    On the face of it, in ordinary practices of rational assessment, we criticize agents both for the combinations of attitudes, like belief, desire, and intention, that they possess at particular times, and for the ways that they behave cognitively over time, by forming, reconsidering, and updating those attitudes. Accordingly, philosophers have proposed norms of rationality that are synchronic—concerned fundamentally with our individual time-slices, and diachronic—concerned with our temporally extended behaviour. However, a recent movement in epistemology has cast doubt on the (...)
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  • When Rational Reasoners Reason Differently.Michael G. Titelbaum & Matthew Kopec - manuscript
    Different people reason differently, which means that sometimes they reach different conclusions from the same evidence. We maintain that this is not only natural, but rational. In this essay we explore the epistemology of that state of affairs. First we will canvass arguments for and against the claim that rational methods of reasoning must always reach the same conclusions from the same evidence. Then we will consider whether the acknowledgment that people have divergent rational reasoning methods should undermine one’s confidence (...)
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  • Epistemic Utility Arguments for Probabilism.Richard Pettigrew - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia.
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  • Reasons, Coherence, and Group Rationality.Brian Hedden - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):581-604.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Deference, Respect and Intensionality.Anna Mahtani - 2016 - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    This paper is about the standard Reflection Principle :235–256, 1984) and the Group Reflection Principle :478–502, 2007; Bovens and Rabinowicz in Episteme 8:281–300, 2011; Titelbaum in Quitting certainties: a Bayesian framework modeling degrees of belief, OUP, Oxford, 2012; Hedden in Mind 124:449–491, 2015). I argue that these principles are incomplete as they stand. The key point is that deference is an intensional relation, and so whether you are rationally required to defer to a person at a time can depend on (...)
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  • Aggregation of Value Judgments Differs From Aggregation of Preferences.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2016 - In .
    My focus is on aggregation of individual value rankings of alternatives to a collective value ranking. This is compared with aggregation o individual prefrences to a collective preference. While in an individual preference ranking the alternatives are ordered in accordance with one’s preferences, the order in a value ranking expresses one’s comparative evaluation of the alternatives, from the best to the worst. I suggest that, despite their formal similarity as rankings, this difference in the nature of individual inputs in two (...)
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  • The Normative Status of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Stanford Enyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Internalism Explained.Ralph Wedgwood - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):349-369.
    According to epistemological internalism, the rationality of a belief supervenes purely on "internal facts" about the thinker's mind. But what are "internal facts"? Why does the rationality of a belief supervene on them? The standard answers are unacceptable. This paper proposes new answers. "Internal facts" are facts about the thinker's nonfactive mental states. The rationality of a belief supervenes on such internal facts because we need rules of belief revision that we can follow directly, not by means of following any (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Perceptual Learning.Elijah Chudnoff - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):520-542.
    First impressions suggest the following contrast between perception and memory: perception generates new beliefs and reasons, justification, or evidence for those beliefs; memory preserves old beliefs and reasons, justification, or evidence for those beliefs. In this paper, I argue that reflection on perceptual learning gives us reason to adopt an alternative picture on which perception plays both generative and preservative epistemic roles.
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  • Don’T Stop Believing.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):744-766.
    It’s been argued that there are no diachronic norms of epistemic rationality. These arguments come partly in response to certain kinds of counterexamples to Conditionalization, but are mainly motivated by a form of internalism that appears to be in tension with any sort of diachronic coherence requirements. I argue that there are, in fact, fundamentally diachronic norms of rationality. And this is to reject at least a strong version of internalism. But I suggest a replacement for Conditionalization that salvages internalist (...)
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  • A Defense of Objectivism About Evidential Support.Brian Hedden - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):716-743.
    Objectivism about evidential support is the thesis that facts about the degree to which a body of evidence supports a hypothesis are objective rather than depending on subjective factors like one’s own language or epistemic values. Objectivism about evidential support is key to defending a synchronic, time-slice-centric conception of epistemic rationality, on which what you ought to believe at a time depends only on what evidence you have at that time, and not on how you were at previous times. Here, (...)
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  • Continuing On.Michael G. Titelbaum - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):670-691.
    What goes wrong, from a rational point of view, when an agent’s beliefs change while her evidence remains constant? I canvass a number of answers to this question suggested by recent literature, then identify some desiderata I would like any potential answer to meet. Finally, I suggest that the rational problem results from the undermining of reasoning processes that are necessarily extended in time.
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  • A Defense of Intrapersonal Belief Permissivism.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Episteme:1-15.
    Permissivism is the view that there are evidential situations that rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. In this paper, I argue for Intrapersonal Belief Permissivism (IaBP): that there are evidential situations in which a single agent can rationally adopt more than one belief-attitude toward a proposition. I give two positive arguments for IaBP; the first involves epistemic supererogation and the second involves doubt. Then, I should how these arguments give intrapersonal permissivists a distinct response to the toggling (...)
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  • Accuracy, Coherence, and Evidence.Branden Fitelson & Kenny Easwaran - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 5:61-96.
    Taking Joyce’s (1998; 2009) recent argument(s) for probabilism as our point of departure, we propose a new way of grounding formal, synchronic, epistemic coherence requirements for (opinionated) full belief. Our approach yields principled alternatives to deductive consistency, sheds new light on the preface and lottery paradoxes, and reveals novel conceptual connections between alethic and evidential epistemic norms.
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  • The Uniqueness Thesis.Matthew Kopec & Michael G. Titelbaum - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (4):189-200.
    The Uniqueness Thesis holds, roughly speaking, that there is a unique rational response to any particular body of evidence. We first sketch some varieties of Uniqueness that appear in the literature. We then discuss some popular views that conflict with Uniqueness and others that require Uniqueness to be true. We then examine some arguments that have been presented in its favor and discuss why permissivists find them unconvincing. Last, we present some purported counterexamples that have been raised against Uniqueness and (...)
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  • Evidentialism, Time-Slice Mentalism, and Dreamless Sleep.Andrew Moon - 2018 - In McCain Kevin (ed.), Believing in Accordance With the Evidence: New Essays on Evidentialism. Springer Verlag.
    I argue that the following theses are both popular among evidentialists but also jointly inconsistent with evidentialism: 1) Time-Slice Mentalism: one’s justificational properties at t are grounded only by one’s mental properties at t; 2) Experience Ultimacy: all ultimate evidence is experiential; and 3) Sleep Justification: we have justified beliefs while we have dreamless, nonexperiential sleep. Although I intend for this paper to be a polemic against evidentialists, it can also be viewed as an opportunity for them to clarify their (...)
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  • The Structure of Epistemic Probabilities.Nevin Climenhaga - 2019 - Philosophical Studies:1-30.
    The epistemic probability of A given B is the degree to which B evidentially supports A, or makes A plausible. This paper is a first step in answering the question of what determines the values of epistemic probabilities. I break this question into two parts: the structural question and the substantive question. Just as an object’s weight is determined by its mass and gravitational acceleration, some probabilities are determined by other, more basic ones. The structural question asks what probabilities are (...)
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  • From Values to Probabilities.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3901-3929.
    According to the fitting-attitude analysis of value , to be valuable is to be a fitting object of a pro-attitude. In earlier publications, setting off from this format of analysis, I proposed a modelling of value relations which makes room for incommensurability in value. In this paper, I first recapitulate the value modelling and then move on to suggest adopting a structurally similar analysis of probability. Indeed, many probability theorists from Poisson onwards did adopt an analysis of this kind. This (...)
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  • Agency, Experience, and Future Bias.Antti Kauppinen - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):237-245.
    Most of us are hedonically future-biased: other things being equal, we prefer pains to be in the past and pleasures to be in the future. Recently, various authors have argued that future bias is irrational, and that we should be temporally neutral instead. I argue that instead of temporal neutrality, the putative counterexamples and the rationales offered for them only motivate a more narrow principle I call Only Action Fixes Utility: it is only when you act on the basis of (...)
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  • Time-Slice Rationality and Self-Locating Belief.David Builes - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    The epistemology of self-locating belief concerns itself with how rational agents ought to respond to certain kinds of indexical information. I argue that those who endorse the thesis of Time-Slice Rationality ought to endorse a particular view about the epistemology of self-locating belief, according to which "essentially indexical" information is never evidentially relevant to non-indexical matters. I close by offering some independent motivations for endorsing Time-Slice Rationality in the context of the epistemology of self-locating belief.
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  • There Are Diachronic Norms of Rationality.Ulf Hlobil - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):38-45.
    Some philosophers have recently argued that there are no diachronic norms of epistemic rationality, that is, that there are no norms regarding how you should change your attitudes over time. I argue that this is wrong on the grounds that there are norms governing reasoning.
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  • Disagreement and the Division of Epistemic Labor.Bjørn G. Hallsson & Klemens Kappel - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In this article we discuss what we call the deliberative division of epistemic labor. We present evidence that the human tendency to engage in motivated reasoning in defense of our beliefs can facilitate the occurrence of divisions of epistemic labor in deliberations among people who disagree. We further present evidence that these divisions of epistemic labor tend to promote beliefs that are better supported by the evidence. We show that promotion of these epistemic benefits stands in tension with what extant (...)
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  • Conservatism and Uniqueness.Jaemin Jung - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2233-2248.
    Credal Conservatism says that an agent’s credal states should be conserved as far as possible when she undergoes a learning experience. Uniqueness says that for any given total evidence, there is a unique credal state that any agent with that total evidence should have. Epistemic Impartiality is the idea that there are no significant differences between intrapersonal and interpersonal rationality requirements when determining what credal states one ought to have for purposes of epistemic evaluation. I construe Epistemic Impartiality as a (...)
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  • What The Tortoise Has To Say About Diachronic Rationality.Markos Valaris - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):293-307.
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  • Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 2 : The Kantian Conception of Rationality and Rationalist Constructivism.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):702-713.
    In the second half of this essay, I discuss the robust conception of rationality that lies at the heart of the Kantian version of Rationalist Constructivism – offering some reasons to prefer this conception to the more minimal accounts of rationality associated with Humean views. I then go on to discuss some of the potential metaethical advantages of the resulting form of constructivism.
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