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Epistemic Value and the Jamesian Goals

In Jeffrey Dunn Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press (2017)

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  1. When Conciliation Frustrates the Epistemic Priorities of Groups.Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2021 - In Fernando Broncano-Berrocal & J. Adam Carter (eds.), The Epistemology of Group Disagreement. Routledge.
    Our aim in this chapter is to draw attention to what we see as a disturbing feature of conciliationist views of disagreement. Roughly put, the trouble is that conciliatory responses to in-group disagreement can lead to the frustration of a group's epistemic priorities: that is, the group's favoured trade-off between the "Jamesian goals" of truth-seeking and error-avoidance. We show how this problem can arise within a simple belief aggregation framework, and draw some general lessons about when the problem is most (...)
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  • Epistemic Consequentialism: Haters Gonna Hate.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - In Christos Kyriacou & Robin McKenna (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism. Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 121-143.
    Epistemic consequentialism has been charged with ignoring the epistemic separateness of propositions and with (thereby) allowing trade-offs between propositions. Here, I do two things. First, I investigate the metaphor of the epistemic separateness of propositions. I argue that either (i) the metaphor is meaningfully unpacked in a way that is modeled on the moral separateness of persons, in which case it doesn’t support a ban on trade-offs or (ii) it isn’t meaningfully unpacked, in which case it really doesn’t support a (...)
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  • Deference Done Better.Kevin Dorst, Benjamin A. Levinstein, Bernhard Salow, Brooke E. Husic & Branden Fitelson - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    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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  • Good Guesses.Kevin Dorst & Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper is about guessing: how people respond to a question when they aren’t certain of the answer. Guesses show surprising and systematic patterns that the most obvious theories don’t explain. We argue that these patterns reveal that people aim to optimize a tradeoff between accuracy and informativity when forming their guess. After spelling out our theory, we use it to argue that guessing plays a central role in our cognitive lives. In particular, our account of guessing yields new theories (...)
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  • Rationality as the Capacity for Understanding.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):639-663.
    In this essay, I develop and defend a virtue-theoretic conception of rationality as a capacity whose function is understanding, as opposed to mere truth or correctness. I focus on two main potential advantages of this view. First, its ability to explain the rationality of forms of explanatory reasoning, and second, its ability to offer a more unified account of theoretical and practical rationality.
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  • Ecumenical Epistemic Instrumentalism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2613-2639.
    According to extant versions of epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons. Epistemic instrumentalism is unpopular. I think it’s just misunderstood. Rather than saying epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons, epistemic instrumentalists should only say that if there is an epistemic reason, there is also an instrumental reason. This is the view I call ecumenical epistemic instrumentalism. In this paper, I first motivate, next sketch, and finally highlight the advantages of this version of epistemic instrumentalism.
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  • A Theory of Epistemic Risk.Boris Babic - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (3):522-550.
    I propose a general alethic theory of epistemic risk according to which the riskiness of an agent’s credence function encodes her relative sensitivity to different types of graded error. After motivating and mathematically developing this approach, I show that the epistemic risk function is a scaled reflection of expected inaccuracy. This duality between risk and information enables us to explore the relationship between attitudes to epistemic risk, the choice of scoring rules in epistemic utility theory, and the selection of priors (...)
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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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  • Permissive Metaepistemology.David Thorstad - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):907-926.
    Recent objections to epistemic permissivism have a metaepistemic flavor. Impermissivists argue that their view best accounts for connections between rationality, planning and deference. Impermissivism is also taken to best explain the value of rational belief and normative assessment. These objections pose a series of metaepistemic explanatory challenges for permissivism. In this paper, I illustrate how permissivists might meet their explanatory burdens by developing two permissivist metaepistemic views which fare well against the explanatory challenges.
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  • Resolutions Against Uniqueness.Kenji Lota & Ulf Hlobil - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    The paper presents a new argument for epistemic permissivism. The version of permissivism that we defend is a moderate version that applies only to explicit doxastic attitudes. Drawing on Yalcin’s framework for modeling such attitudes, we argue that two fully rational subjects who share all their evidence, prior beliefs, and epistemic standards may still differ in the explicit doxastic attitudes that they adopt. This can happen because two such subjects may be sensitive to different questions. Thus, differing intellectual interests can (...)
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  • An Instrumentalist Account of How to Weigh Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1071-1094.
    When one has both epistemic and practical reasons for or against some belief, how do these reasons combine into an all-things-considered reason for or against that belief? The question might seem to presuppose the existence of practical reasons for belief. But we can rid the question of this presupposition. Once we do, a highly general ‘Combinatorial Problem’ emerges. The problem has been thought to be intractable due to certain differences in the combinatorial properties of epistemic and practical reasons. Here we (...)
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  • An Epistemic Non-Consequentialism.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2020 - The Philosophical Review 129 (1):1-51.
    Despite the recent backlash against epistemic consequentialism, an explicit systematic alternative has yet to emerge. This paper articulates and defends a novel alternative, Epistemic Kantianism, which rests on a requirement of respect for the truth. §1 tackles some preliminaries concerning the proper formulation of the epistemic consequentialism / non-consequentialism divide, explains where Epistemic Kantianism falls in the dialectical landscape, and shows how it can capture what seems attractive about epistemic consequentialism while yielding predictions that are harder for the latter to (...)
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