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Epistemic instrumentalism, permissibility, and reasons for belief

In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press. pp. 260-280 (2018)

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  1. Epistemic Blame and the Normativity of Evidence.Sebastian Schmidt - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (1):1-24.
    The normative force of evidence can seem puzzling. It seems that having conclusive evidence for a proposition does not, by itself, make it true that one ought to believe the proposition. But spelling out the condition that evidence must meet in order to provide us with genuine normative reasons for belief seems to lead us into a dilemma: the condition either fails to explain the normative significance of epistemic reasons or it renders the content of epistemic norms practical. The first (...)
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  • Epistemic Courage.Jonathan Ichikawa - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic Courage is a timely and thought-provoking exploration of the ethics of belief. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from conspiracy theories to medical misinformation, Ichikawa shows why epistemology is no mere academic abstraction - the question of what to believe couldn't be more urgent. And, he argues, many mainstream ideas about what to believe - those emphasizing the importance of ensuring that one doesn't believe with insufficient evidence - are incomplete and distorting in important and harmful ways. A (...)
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  • The Ethics of Belief (3rd edition).Rima Basu - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Matthias Steup, Ernest Sosa & Jonathan Dancy (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This chapter is a survey of the ethics of belief. It begins with the debate as it first emerges in the foundational dispute between W. K. Clifford and William James. Then it surveys how the disagreements between Clifford and James have shaped the work of contemporary theorists, touching on topics such as pragmatism, whether we should believe against the evidence, pragmatic and moral encroachment, doxastic partiality, and doxastic wronging.
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  • Curiosity and Zetetic Style in ADHD.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Somogy Varga - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    While research on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has traditionally focused on cognitive and behavioral deficits, there is increasing interest in exploring possible resources associated with the disorder. In this paper, we argue that the attention-patterns associated with ADHD can be understood as expressing an alternative style of inquiry, or “zetetic” style, characterized mainly by a lower barrier for becoming curious and engaging in inquiry, and a weaker disposition to regulate curiosity in response to the cognitive and practical costs associated (...)
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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 Instrumentalist Explanation of Pragmatic Encroachment.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Many have found it plausible that practical circumstances can affect whether someone is in a position to know or rationally believe a proposition. For example, whether it is rational for a person to believe that the bank will be open tomorrow, can depend not only on the person’s evidence, but also on how practically important it is for the person not to be wrong about the bank being open tomorrow. This supposed phenomenon is known as “pragmatic encroachment” on knowledge and (...)
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  • Epistemic Rationality.Harvey Siegel - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (5):608-630.
    Critique of instrumental accounts of epistemic rationality.
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  • Ecumenical epistemic instrumentalism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2021 - 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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  • Doxastic divergence and the problem of comparability. Pragmatism defended further.Anne Https://Orcidorg Meylan - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):199-216.
    Situations where it is not obvious which of two incompatible actions we ought to perform are commonplace. As has frequently been noted in the contemporary literature, a similar issue seems to arise in the field of beliefs. Cases of doxastic divergence are cases in which the subject seems subject to two divergent oughts to believe: an epistemic and a practical ought to believe. This article supports the moderate pragmatist view according to which subjects ought, all things considered, to hold the (...)
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  • Do epistemic reasons bear on the ought simpliciter?Susanne Mantel - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):214-227.
    Are epistemic reasons normative in the same sense as, for instance, moral reasons? In this paper I examine and defend the claim that epistemic reasons are normative only relative to an epistemic standard. Unlike moral reasons they are not substantially normative, because they fail to make an independent contribution to obligations or permissions simpliciter. After presenting what I take to be the main argument for this view, I illustrate that the argument has often been defended by examples which controversially presuppose (...)
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  • Unzipping the Zetetic Turn.David Domínguez - 2023 - Synthese 202 (6):1-29.
    Zetetic norms govern our acts of inquiry. Epistemic norms govern our beliefs and acts of belief formation. Recently, Jane Friedman (2020) has defended that we should think of these norms as conforming a single normative domain: epistemology should take a zetetic turn. Though this unification project implies a substantive re-elaboration of our traditional epistemic norms, Friedman argues that the reasons supporting the turn are robust enough to warrant its revisionary implications. In this paper, I suggest we should read Friedman’s proposal (...)
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  • Two types of epistemic instrumentalism.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5455-5475.
    Epistemic instrumentalism views epistemic norms and epistemic normativity as essentially involving the instrumental relation between means and ends. It construes notions like epistemic normativity, norms, and rationality, as forms of instrumental or means-end normativity, norms, and rationality. I do two main things in this paper. In part 1, I argue that there is an under-appreciated distinction between two independent types of epistemic instrumentalism. These are instrumentalism about epistemic norms and instrumentalism about epistemic normativity. In part 2, I argue that this (...)
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  • Varieties of epistemic instrumentalism.Daniel Buckley - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9293-9313.
    There exists a family of views concerning the foundations of epistemic normativity that all travel under the heading “epistemic instrumentalism”. These views are unified by their attempt to explain epistemic normativity in terms of instrumental normativity. Very roughly, they all say that we have reason to respond to truth-related considerations when forming and maintaining doxastic attitudes since regulating our doxastic attitudes in this way helps us satisfy our aims, interests, or goals. Thus, according to epistemic instrumentalists, truth-related considerations constitute reasons (...)
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  • Against Evidential Minimalism.Daniel Buckley - forthcoming - Episteme:1-20.
    Evidence is often taken to be “normative” for doxastic agents. What accounts for the normativity of evidence? According to the view that I’ll call “evidential minimalism”, there is a close connection between strong evidence for the truth of p and a normative reason to believe p: evidence is either itself a normative reason for belief, or evidence gives rise to such a reason when certain other minimal conditions are met. In this paper, I argue against evidential minimalism. I will argue (...)
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  • Instrumentalism, Moral Encroachment, and Epistemic Injustice.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    According to the thesis of pragmatic encroachment, practical circumstances can affect whether someone is in a position to know or rationally believe a proposition. For example, whether it is epistemically rational for a person to believe that the bank will be open on Saturdays, can depend not only on the strength of the person’s evidence, but also on how practically important it is for the person not to be wrong about the bank being open on Saturdays. In recent years, philosophers (...)
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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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  • Epistemic Normativity is Independent of our Goals.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - In Blake Roeber, Matthias Steup, Ernest Sosa & John Turri (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology (3rd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell.
    In epistemology and in ordinary life, we make many normative claims about beliefs. As with all normative claims, philosophical questions arise about what – if anything – underwrites these kinds of normative claims. On one view, epistemic instrumentalism, facts about what we (epistemically) ought to believe, or about what is an (epistemic, normative) reason to believe what, obtain at least partly in virtue of our goals (or aims, ends, intentions, desires, etc.). The converse view, anti-instrumentalism, denies this, and holds that (...)
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