Can we do without pragmatic encroachment?

Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):417–443 (2005)
I consider the problem of how to derive what an agent believes from their credence function and utility function. I argue the best solution of this problem is pragmatic, i.e. it is sensitive to the kinds of choices actually facing the agent. I further argue that this explains why our notion of justified belief appears to be pragmatic, as is argued e.g. by Fantl and McGrath. The notion of epistemic justification is not really a pragmatic notion, but it is being applied to a pragmatically defined concept, i.e. belief.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2005.00068.x
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References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1994). Reduction of Mind. In Samuel Guttenplan (ed.), Companion to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell 412-431.
Brian Weatherson (2005). True, Truer, Truest. Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2):47-70.

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Citations of this work BETA
Lara Buchak (2013). Belief, Credence, and Norms. Philosophical Studies (2):1-27.
Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder (2014). Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Ralph Wedgwood (2012). Outright Belief. Dialectica 66 (3):309–329.
Janet Levin (2008). Assertion, Practical Reason, and Pragmatic Theories of Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):359–384.

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Cross-posted from

The paper we discussed this week is here, and the handout is here.

Cian had a lot to say about this paper. Most of our discussion stemmed from certain kinds of counter-example that he suggested. I hope I’m not misrepresenting him in what follows:

The first kind of case is meant as a counterexample to the left-right direction of principle (1), which says roughly that you believe P if and only if conditionalizing on P doesn’t change any conditional preferences over things that matter. Weatherson says that the L-R direction ’seems trivial’, but what about the following simple case:

I’m considering whether to buy insurance against meteor strikes. I believe my house won’t be struck by a meteor tomorrow; but I still buy the insurance just in case. Conditonal on my house not being struck by a meteor tomorrow, however, I prefer not to buy the insurance.

I guess what Weatherson would have to say is that your choosing to buy the insurance is incom ... (read more)