When propriety is improper

Philosophical Studies 176 (2):367-386 (2019)
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We argue that philosophers ought to distinguish epistemic decision theory and epistemology, in just the way ordinary decision theory is distinguished from ethics. Once one does this, the internalist arguments that motivate much of epistemic decision theory make sense, given specific interpretations of the formalism. Making this distinction also causes trouble for the principle called Propriety, which says, roughly, that the only acceptable epistemic utility functions make probabilistically coherent credence functions immodest. We cast doubt on this requirement, but then argue that epistemic decision theorists should never have wanted such a strong principle in any case.

Author Profiles

Kevin Blackwell
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Daniel Drucker
University of Texas at Austin


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