35 found
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  1. Choosing for Changing Selves.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What we value, like, endorse, want, and prefer changes over the course of our lives. Richard Pettigrew presents a theory of rational decision making for agents who recognise that their values will change over time and whose decisions will affect those future times.
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  2. What is justified credence?Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Episteme 18 (1):16-30.
    In this paper, we seek a reliabilist account of justified credence. Reliabilism about justified beliefs comes in two varieties: process reliabilism (Goldman, 1979, 2008) and indicator reliabilism (Alston, 1988, 2005). Existing accounts of reliabilism about justified credence comes in the same two varieties: Jeff Dunn (2015) proposes a version of process reliabilism, while Weng Hong Tang (2016) offers a version of indicator reliabilism. As we will see, both face the same objection. If they are right about what justification is, it (...)
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  3. Logical ignorance and logical learning.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9991-10020.
    According to certain normative theories in epistemology, rationality requires us to be logically omniscient. Yet this prescription clashes with our ordinary judgments of rationality. How should we resolve this tension? In this paper, I focus particularly on the logical omniscience requirement in Bayesian epistemology. Building on a key insight by Hacking :311–325, 1967), I develop a version of Bayesianism that permits logical ignorance. This includes: an account of the synchronic norms that govern a logically ignorant individual at any given time; (...)
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  4. What is conditionalization, and why should we do it?Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3427-3463.
    Conditionalization is one of the central norms of Bayesian epistemology. But there are a number of competing formulations, and a number of arguments that purport to establish it. In this paper, I explore which formulations of the norm are supported by which arguments. In their standard formulations, each of the arguments I consider here depends on the same assumption, which I call Deterministic Updating. I will investigate whether it is possible to amend these arguments so that they no longer depend (...)
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  5. Veritism, Epistemic Risk, and the Swamping Problem.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):761-774.
    Veritism says that the fundamental source of epistemic value for a doxastic state is the extent to which it represents the world correctly: that is, its fundamental epistemic value is deter...
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  6. Transformative Experience and Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):766-774.
    This paper is part of a book symposium for L. A. Paul (2014) Transformative Experience (OUP).
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  7. On the Expected Utility Objection to the Dutch Book Argument for Probabilism.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Noûs (1):23-38.
    The Dutch Book Argument for Probabilism assumes Ramsey's Thesis (RT), which purports to determine the prices an agent is rationally required to pay for a bet. Recently, a new objection to Ramsey's Thesis has emerged (Hedden 2013, Wronski & Godziszewski 2017, Wronski 2018)--I call this the Expected Utility Objection. According to this objection, it is Maximise Subjective Expected Utility (MSEU) that determines the prices an agent is required to pay for a bet, and this often disagrees with Ramsey's Thesis. I (...)
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  8. Accuracy-First Epistemology Without Additivity.Richard Pettigrew - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (1):128-151.
    Accuracy arguments for the core tenets of Bayesian epistemology differ mainly in the conditions they place on the legitimate ways of measuring the inaccuracy of our credences. The best existing arguments rely on three conditions: Continuity, Additivity, and Strict Propriety. In this paper, I show how to strengthen the arguments based on these conditions by showing that the central mathematical theorem on which each depends goes through without assuming Additivity.
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  9. Epistemic Utility and the Normativity of Logic.Richard Pettigrew - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (4):455-492.
    How does logic relate to rational belief? Is logic normative for belief, as some say? What, if anything, do facts about logical consequence tell us about norms of doxastic rationality? In this paper, we consider a range of putative logic-rationality bridge principles. These purport to relate facts about logical consequence to norms that govern the rationality of our beliefs and credences. To investigate these principles, we deploy a novel approach, namely, epistemic utility theory. That is, we assume that doxastic attitudes (...)
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  10. On the Accuracy of Group Credences.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    We often ask for the opinion of a group of individuals. How strongly does the scientific community believe that the rate at which sea levels are rising has increased over the last 200 years? How likely does the UK Treasury think it is that there will be a recession if the country leaves the European Union? What are these group credences that such questions request? And how do they relate to the individual credences assigned by the members of the particular (...)
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  11. On the pragmatic and epistemic virtues of inference to the best explanation.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12407-12438.
    In a series of papers over the past twenty years, and in a new book, Igor Douven has argued that Bayesians are too quick to reject versions of inference to the best explanation that cannot be accommodated within their framework. In this paper, I survey their worries and attempt to answer them using a series of pragmatic and purely epistemic arguments that I take to show that Bayes’ Rule really is the only rational way to respond to your evidence.
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  12. Bayesian updating when what you learn might be false.Richard Pettigrew - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):309-324.
    Rescorla (Erkenntnis, 2020) has recently pointed out that the standard arguments for Bayesian Conditionalization assume that whenever I become certain of something, it is true. Most people would reject this assumption. In response, Rescorla offers an improved Dutch Book argument for Bayesian Conditionalization that does not make this assumption. My purpose in this paper is two-fold. First, I want to illuminate Rescorla’s new argument by giving a very general Dutch Book argument that applies to many cases of updating beyond those (...)
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  13. Should longtermists recommend hastening extinction rather than delaying it?Richard Pettigrew - 2024 - The Monist 107 (2):130-145.
    Longtermism is the view that the most urgent global priorities, and those to which we should devote the largest portion of our resources, are those that focus on (i) ensuring a long future for humanity, and perhaps sentient or intelligent life more generally, and (ii) improving the quality of the lives that inhabit that long future. While it is by no means the only one, the argument most commonly given for this conclusion is that these interventions have greater expected goodness (...)
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  14. What is the characteristic wrong of testimonial injustice?Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    My aim in this paper is to identify the wrong that is done in all cases of testimonial injustice, if there is one. Miranda Fricker (2007) proposes one account of this distinctive wrong, and Gaile Pohlhaus Jr. (2014) offers another. I think neither works. Nor does an account based on giving due respect to the testifier's epistemic competence. Nor does an account based on exposing the testifier to substantial risk of harm. Rachel Fraser (2023) describes a further account, and the (...)
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  15. When are choices, actions, and consent based on adaptive preferences nonautonomous?Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    Adaptive preferences give rise to puzzles in ethics, political philosophy, decision theory, and the theory of action. Like our other preferences, adaptive preferences lead us to make choices, take action, and give consent. In 'False Consciousness for Liberals', recently published in The Philosophical Review, David Enoch (2020) proposes a criterion by which to identify when these choices, actions, and acts of consent are less than fully autonomous; that is, when they suffer from what Natalie Stoljar (2014) calls an 'autonomy deficit'. (...)
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  16. What we talk about when we talk about numbers.Richard Pettigrew - 2018 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 169 (12):1437-1456.
    In this paper, I describe and motivate a new species of mathematical structuralism, which I call Instrumental Nominalism about Set-Theoretic Structuralism. As the name suggests, this approach takes standard Set-Theoretic Structuralism of the sort championed by Bourbaki and removes its ontological commitments by taking an instrumental nominalist approach to that ontology of the sort described by Joseph Melia and Gideon Rosen. I argue that this avoids all of the problems that plague other versions of structuralism.
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  17. Epistemic Risk and the Demands of Rationality.Richard Pettigrew - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    How much does rationality constrain what we should believe on the basis of our evidence? According to this book, not very much. For most people and most bodies of evidence, there is a wide range of beliefs that rationality permits them to have in response to that evidence. The argument, which takes inspiration from William James' ideas in 'The Will to Believe', proceeds from two premises. The first is a theory about the basis of epistemic rationality. It's called epistemic utility (...)
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  18. Aggregating agents with opinions about different propositions.Richard Pettigrew - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-25.
    There are many reasons we might want to take the opinions of various individuals and pool them to give the opinions of the group they constitute. If all the individuals in the group have probabilistic opinions about the same propositions, there is a host of pooling functions we might deploy, such as linear or geometric pooling. However, there are also cases where different members of the group assign probabilities to different sets of propositions, which might overlap a lot, a little, (...)
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  19. How should your beliefs change when your awareness grows?Richard Pettigrew - forthcoming - Episteme:1-25.
    Epistemologists who study credences have a well-developed account of how you should change them when you learn new evidence; that is, when your body of evidence grows. What's more, they boast a diverse range of epistemic and pragmatic arguments that support that account. But they do not have a satisfactory account of when and how you should change your credences when you become aware of possibilities and propositions you have not entertained before; that is, when your awareness grows. In this (...)
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  20. Transformative experience and the knowledge norms for action: Moss on Paul’s challenge to decision theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In John Schwenkler & Enoch Lambert (eds.), Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. Oxford University Press.
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. 2015, Harman (...)
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  21. Autonomy for Changing Selves.Richard Pettigrew - 2022 - In Ben Colburn (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Autonomy. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Our values change. What we value, want, desire, prefer, and how much; for nearly everyone, these will be different at different times in their life. These changes can be gradual or abrupt; they can be long-lasting or short-lived; and they can be induced by forces outside yourself or they can come from within or they can have no specific catalyst at all. Such preference change raises a number of questions for our theorising about rational choice, and these have been discussed (...)
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  22. Three questions for liberals.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    In this paper, I ask three questions of the liberal. In each, I fill in philosophical detail around a certain sort of complaint raised in current public debates about their position. In the first, I probe the limits of the liberal's tolerance for civil disobedience; in the second, I ask how the liberal can adjudicate the most divisive moral disputes of the age; and, in the third, I suggest the liberal faces a problem when there is substantial disagreement about the (...)
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  23. On justifying an account of moral goodness to each individual: contractualism, utilitarianism, and prioritarianism.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    Many welfarists wish to assign to each possible state of the world a numerical value that measures something like its moral goodness. How are we to determine this quantity? This paper proposes a contractualist approach: a legitimate measure of moral goodness is one that could be justified to each member of the population in question. How do we justify a measure of moral goodness to each individual? Each individual recognises the measure of moral goodness must be a compromise between the (...)
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  24. Nudging for changing selves.Richard Pettigrew - 2023 - Synthese 201 (1):1-21.
    When is it legitimate for a government to ‘nudge’ its citizens, in the sense described by Thaler and Sunstein (2008)? In their original work on the topic, Thaler and Sunstein developed the _‘as judged by themselves’ (or AJBT) test_ to answer this question (Thaler and Sunstein 2008, p. 5). In a recent paper, Paul and Sunstein (2019) raised a concern about this test: it often seems to give the wrong answer in cases in which we are nudged to make a (...)
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  25. The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology.Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.) - 2019 - PhilPapers Foundation.
    In formal epistemology, we use mathematical methods to explore the questions of epistemology and rational choice. What can we know? What should we believe and how strongly? How should we act based on our beliefs and values? We begin by modelling phenomena like knowledge, belief, and desire using mathematical machinery, just as a biologist might model the fluctuations of a pair of competing populations, or a physicist might model the turbulence of a fluid passing through a small aperture. Then, we (...)
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  26. Pooling, Products, and Priors.Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg -
    We often learn the opinions of others without hearing the evidence on which they're based. The orthodox Bayesian response is to treat the reported opinion as evidence itself and update on it by conditionalizing. But sometimes this isn't feasible. In these situations, a simpler way of combining one's existing opinion with opinions reported by others would be useful, especially if it yields the same results as conditionalization. We will show that one method---upco, also known as multiplicative pooling---is specially suited to (...)
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  27. On Choosing how to Choose.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    A decision theory is self-recommending if, when you ask it which decision theory you should use, it considers itself to be among the permissible options. I show that many alternatives to expected utility theory are not self-recommending, and I argue that this tells against them.
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  28. Radical epistemology, structural explanations, and epistemic weaponry.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):289-304.
    When is a belief justified? There are three families of arguments we typically use to support different accounts of justification: arguments from our intuitive responses to vignettes that involve the concept; arguments from the theoretical role we would like the concept to play in epistemology; and arguments from the practical, moral, and political uses to which we wish to put the concept. I focus particularly on the third sort, and specifically on arguments of this sort offered by Clayton Littlejohn in (...)
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  29. Geometric Pooling: A User's Guide.Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Much of our information comes to us indirectly, in the form of conclusions others have drawn from evidence they gathered. When we hear these conclusions, how can we modify our own opinions so as to gain the benefit of their evidence? In this paper we study the method known as geometric pooling. We consider two arguments in its favour, raising several objections to one, and proposing an amendment to the other.
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  30. Consequences of Calibration.Robert Williams & Richard Pettigrew - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:14.
    Drawing on a passage from Ramsey's Truth and Probability, we formulate a simple, plausible constraint on evaluating the accuracy of credences: the Calibration Test. We show that any additive, continuous accuracy measure that passes the Calibration Test will be strictly proper. Strictly proper accuracy measures are known to support the touchstone results of accuracy-first epistemology, for example vindications of probabilism and conditionalization. We show that our use of Calibration is an improvement on previous such appeals by showing how it answers (...)
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  31. Formal Methods.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    (This is for the Cambridge Handbook of Analytic Philosophy, edited by Marcus Rossberg) In this handbook entry, I survey the different ways in which formal mathematical methods have been applied to philosophical questions throughout the history of analytic philosophy. I consider: formalization in symbolic logic, with examples such as Aquinas’ third way and Anselm’s ontological argument; Bayesian confirmation theory, with examples such as the fine-tuning argument for God and the paradox of the ravens; foundations of mathematics, with examples such as (...)
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  32. Believing is said of groups in many ways (and so it should be said of them in none).Richard Pettigrew -
    In the first half of this paper, I argue that group belief ascriptions are highly ambiguous. What's more, in many cases, neither the available contextual factors nor known pragmatic considerations are sufficient to allow the audience to identify which of the many possible meanings is intended. In the second half, I argue that this ambiguity often has bad consequences when a group belief ascription is heard and taken as testimony. And indeed it has these consequences even when the ascription is (...)
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  33. The value of information and the epistemology of inquiry.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    In the recent philosophical literature on inquiry, epistemologists point out that their subject has often begun at the point at which you already have your evidence and then focussed on identifying the beliefs for which that evidence provides justification. But we are not mere passive recipients of evidence. While some comes to us unbidden, we often actively collect it. This has long been recognised, but typically epistemologists have taken the norms that govern inquiry to be practical, not epistemic. The recent (...)
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  34. Review of Carol J. Adams, Alice Crary, and Lori Gruen (eds.) The Good It Promises, The Harm It Does: Critical Essays on Effective Altruism, 2023, Oxford: Oxford University Press. [REVIEW]Richard Pettigrew - forthcoming - Mind.
    Effective altruists (EAs) seek to persuade the globally wealthy to donate a proportion of their income to do good, and specifically to donate it to those charit.
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  35. Review of Gerhard Schurz's Optimality Justifications (2024, OUP). [REVIEW]Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
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