Repugnant Accuracy

Noûs 53 (3):540-563 (2019)
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Accuracy‐first epistemology is an approach to formal epistemology which takes accuracy to be a measure of epistemic utility and attempts to vindicate norms of epistemic rationality by showing how conformity with them is beneficial. If accuracy‐first epistemology can actually vindicate any epistemic norms, it must adopt a plausible account of epistemic value. Any such account must avoid the epistemic version of Derek Parfit's “repugnant conclusion.” I argue that the only plausible way of doing so is to say that accurate credences in certain propositions have no, or almost no, epistemic value. I prove that this is incompatible with standard accuracy‐first arguments for probabilism, and argue that there is no way for accuracy‐first epistemology to show that all credences of all agents should be coherent.

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Brian Talbot
University of Colorado, Boulder


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