Epistemic anxiety and adaptive invariantism

Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):407-435 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Do we apply higher epistemic standards to subjects with high stakes? This paper argues that we expect different outward behavior from high-stakes subjects—for example, we expect them to collect more evidence than their low-stakes counterparts—but not because of any change in epistemic standards. Rather, we naturally expect subjects in any condition to think in a roughly adaptive manner, balancing the expected costs of additional evidence collection against the expected value of gains in accuracy. The paper reviews a body of empirical work on the automatic regulation of cognitive effort in response to stakes, and argues that we naturally see high- and low-stakes subjects as experiencing different levels of ‘epistemic anxiety’, and anticipate different levels of cognitive effort from them for this reason. If unresolved epistemic anxiety always bars an ascription of knowledge, then we can explain our responses to cases involving shifting stakes without positing any variation in the standards of intuitive knowledge ascription.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Knowledge in an Uncertain World.Fantl, Jeremy & McGrath, Matthew
Alief and Belief.Gendler, Tamar Szabó

View all 49 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Rape Culture and Epistemology.Crewe, Bianca & Ichikawa, Jonathan Jenkins
Empirical tests of interest-relative invariantism.Sripada, Chandra Sekhar & Stanley, Jason

View all 34 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
636 ( #4,042 of 42,168 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
84 ( #6,238 of 42,168 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.