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Kevin Dorst
University of Pittsburgh
  1. Overconfidence in Overconfidence.Kevin Dorst - manuscript
    Do people tend to be overconfident in their opinions? Many psychologists think so. They have run calibration studies in which they ask people a variety of questions, and then test whether their confidence in their answers matches the proportions of those answers that are true. Under certain conditions, an “overconfidence effect” is robust—for example, of the answers people are 80% confident in, only 60% are true. Psychologists have inferred that people tend to be irrationally overconfident. My question is when and (...)
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  2. Evidence: A Guide for the Uncertain.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Assume that it is your evidence that determines what opinions you should have. I argue that since you should take peer disagreement seriously, evidence must have two features. (1) It must sometimes warrant being modest: uncertain what your evidence warrants, and (thus) uncertain whether you’re rational. (2) But it must always warrant being guided: disposed to treat your evidence as a guide. Surprisingly, it is very difficult to vindicate both (1) and (2). But diagnosing why this is so leads to (...)
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  3.  84
    Why Rational People Polarize.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - The Phenomenal World.
    I argue that several of the psychological tendencies that drive polarization could arise from purely rational mechanisms, due to the fact that some types of evidence are predictably more ambiguous than others.
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  4. Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
    The Lockean Thesis says that you must believe p iff you’re sufficiently confident of it. On some versions, the 'must' asserts a metaphysical connection; on others, it asserts a normative one. On some versions, 'sufficiently confident' refers to a fixed threshold of credence; on others, it varies with proposition and context. Claim: the Lockean Thesis follows from epistemic utility theory—the view that rational requirements are constrained by the norm to promote accuracy. Different versions of this theory generate different versions of (...)
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  5. Abominable KK Failures.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1227-1259.
    KK is the thesis that if you can know p, you can know that you can know p. Though it’s unpopular, a flurry of considerations has recently emerged in its favour. Here we add fuel to the fire: standard resources allow us to show that any failure of KK will lead to the knowability and assertability of abominable indicative conditionals of the form ‘If I don’t know it, p’. Such conditionals are manifestly not assertable—a fact that KK defenders can easily (...)
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  6. Higher-Order Uncertainty.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays.
    You have higher-order uncertainty iff you are uncertain of what opinions you should have. I defend three claims about it. First, the higher-order evidence debate can be helpfully reframed in terms of higher-order uncertainty. The central question becomes how your first- and higher-order opinions should relate—a precise question that can be embedded within a general, tractable framework. Second, this question is nontrivial. Rational higher-order uncertainty is pervasive, and lies at the foundations of the epistemology of disagreement. Third, the answer is (...)
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  7.  90
    Can the Knowledge Norm Co‐Opt the Opt Out?Kevin Dorst - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):273-282.
    The Knowledge Norm of Assertion claims that it is proper to assert that p only if one knows that p. Though supported by a wide range of evidence, it appears to generate incorrect verdicts when applied to utterances of “I don't know.” Instead of being an objection to KNA, I argue that this linguistic data shows that “I don't know” does not standardly function as a literal assertion about one's epistemic status; rather, it is an indirect speech act that has (...)
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