Time-Slice Epistemology for Bayesians

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Recently, some have challenged the idea that there are genuine norms of diachronic rationality. Part of this challenge has involved offering replacements for diachronic principles. Skeptics about diachronic rationality believe that we can provide an error theory for it by appealing to synchronic updating rules that, over time, mimic the behavior of diachronic norms. In this paper, I argue that the most promising attempts to develop this position within the Bayesian framework are unsuccessful. I sketch a new synchronic surrogate that draws upon some of the features of each of these earlier attempts. At the heart of this discussion is the question of what exactly it means to say that one norm is a surrogate for another. I argue that surrogacy, in the given context, can be taken as a proxy for the degree to which formal and traditional epistemology can be made compatible.

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Lisa Cassell
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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