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  1. A Puzzle About Knowledge, Blame, and Coherence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):493-503.
    Many philosophers have offered arguments in favor of the following three theses: A is epistemically permitted to believe P only if A is in a position to know that P, incoherent agents fail to satisfy the aforementioned knowledge norm of belief, and A’s apparent reasons are relevant to determining what A is blameworthy for believing. In this paper, I argue that the above three theses are jointly inconsistent. The main upshot of the paper is this: even if the knowledge norm (...)
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  • Accuracy and Epistemic Conservatism.Florian Steinberger - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):658-669.
    Epistemic utility theory is generally coupled with veritism. Veritism is the view that truth is the sole fundamental epistemic value. Veritism, when paired with EUT, entails a methodological commitment: norms of epistemic rationality are justified only if they can be derived from considerations of accuracy alone. According to EUT, then, believing truly has epistemic value, while believing falsely has epistemic disvalue. This raises the question as to how the rational believer should balance the prospect of true belief against the risk (...)
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  • Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2017 - 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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  • Surreal Decisions.Eddy Keming Chen & Daniel Rubio - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Although expected utility theory has proven a fruitful and elegant theory in the finite realm, attempts to generalize it to infinite values have resulted in many paradoxes. In this paper, we argue that the use of John Conway's surreal numbers shall provide a firm mathematical foundation for transfinite decision theory. To that end, we prove a surreal representation theorem and show that our surreal decision theory respects dominance reasoning even in the case of infinite values. We then bring our theory (...)
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  • Who Cares What You Accurately Believe?Clayton Littlejohn - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):217-248.
    This is a critical discussion of the accuracy-first approach to epistemic norms. If you think of accuracy (gradational or categorical) as the fundamental epistemic good and think of epistemic goods as things that call for promotion, you might think that we should use broadly consequentialist reasoning to determine which norms govern partial and full belief. After presenting consequentialist arguments for probabilism and the normative Lockean view, I shall argue that the consequentialist framework isn't nearly as promising as it might first (...)
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  • Stability and Scepticism in the Modelling of Doxastic States: Probabilities and Plain Beliefs.Hans Rott - 2017 - Minds and Machines 27 (1):167-197.
    There are two prominent ways of formally modelling human belief. One is in terms of plain beliefs, i.e., sets of propositions. The second one is in terms of degrees of beliefs, which are commonly taken to be representable by subjective probability functions. In relating these two ways of modelling human belief, the most natural idea is a thesis frequently attributed to John Locke: a proposition is or ought to be believed just in case its subjective probability exceeds a contextually fixed (...)
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  • From Probabilities to Categorical Beliefs: Going Beyond Toy Models.Igor Douven & Hans Rott - 2018 - Journal of Logic and Computation 28 (6):1099-1124.
    According to the Lockean thesis, a proposition is believed just in case it is highly probable. While this thesis enjoys strong intuitive support, it is known to conflict with seemingly plausible logical constraints on our beliefs. One way out of this conflict is to make probability 1 a requirement for belief, but most have rejected this option for entailing what they see as an untenable skepticism. Recently, two new solutions to the conflict have been proposed that are alleged to be (...)
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  • Two Approaches to Belief Revision.Ted Shear & Branden Fitelson - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (3):487-518.
    In this paper, we compare and contrast two methods for the revision of qualitative beliefs. The first method is generated by a simplistic diachronic Lockean thesis requiring coherence with the agent’s posterior credences after conditionalization. The second method is the orthodox AGM approach to belief revision. Our primary aim is to determine when the two methods may disagree in their recommendations and when they must agree. We establish a number of novel results about their relative behavior. Our most notable finding (...)
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  • Jamesian Epistemology Formalised: An Explication of ‘the Will to Believe’.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Episteme 13 (3):253-268.
    Famously, William James held that there are two commandments that govern our epistemic life: Believe truth! Shun error! In this paper, I give a formal account of James' claim using the tools of epistemic utility theory. I begin by giving the account for categorical doxastic states – that is, full belief, full disbelief, and suspension of judgment. Then I will show how the account plays out for graded doxastic states – that is, credences. The latter part of the paper thus (...)
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  • Accuracy and Epistemic Conservatism.Florian Steinberger - 2018 - Analysis:any094.
    Epistemic utility theory (EUT) is generally coupled with \emph{veritism}. Veritism is the view that truth is the sole fundamental epistemic value. Veritism, when paired with EUT, entails a methodological commitment: Norms of epistemic rationality are justified only if they can be derived from considerations of accuracy alone. According to EUT, then, believing truly has epistemic value, while believing falsely has epistemic disvalue. This raises the question as to how the rational believer should balance the prospect of true belief against the (...)
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  • Repugnant Accuracy.Brian Talbot - 2017 - Noûs 53 (3):540-563.
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  • The Theory of Games as a Tool for the Social Epistemologist.Kevin J. S. Zollman - unknown
    Traditionally, epistemologists have distinguished between epistemic and pragmatic goals. In so doing, they presume that much of game theory is irrelevant to epistemic enterprises. I will show that this is a mistake. Even if we restrict attention to purely epistemic motivations, members of epistemic groups will face a multitude of strategic choices. I illustrate several contexts where individuals who are concerned solely with the discovery of truth will nonetheless face difficult game theoretic problems. Examples of purely epistemic coordination problems and (...)
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  • Plausible Permissivism.Michael G. Titelbaum & Matthew Kopec - manuscript
    Abstract. Richard Feldman’s Uniqueness Thesis holds that “a body of evidence justifies at most one proposition out of a competing set of proposi- tions”. The opposing position, permissivism, allows distinct rational agents to adopt differing attitudes towards a proposition given the same body of evidence. We assess various motivations that have been offered for Uniqueness, including: concerns about achieving consensus, a strong form of evidentialism, worries about epistemically arbitrary influences on belief, a focus on truth-conduciveness, and consequences for peer disagreement. (...)
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  • When Rational Reasoners Reason Differently.Michael G. Titelbaum & Matthew Kopec - manuscript
    Different people reason differently, which means that sometimes they reach different conclusions from the same evidence. We maintain that this is not only natural, but rational. In this essay we explore the epistemology of that state of affairs. First we will canvass arguments for and against the claim that rational methods of reasoning must always reach the same conclusions from the same evidence. Then we will consider whether the acknowledgment that people have divergent rational reasoning methods should undermine one’s confidence (...)
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  • Truth, Knowledge, and the Standard of Proof in Criminal Law.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Synthese:1-34.
    Could it be right to convict and punish defendants using only statistical evidence? In this paper, I argue that it is not and explain why it would be wrong. This is difficult to do because there is a powerful argument for thinking that we should convict and punish defendants using statistical evidence. It looks as if the relevant cases are cases of decision under risk and it seems we know what we should do in such cases (i.e., maximize expected value). (...)
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  • Epistemic Utility Theory and the Normativity of Logic.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    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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  • What is Justified Credence?Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    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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  • Learning and Value Change.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19 (29):1--22.
    Accuracy-first accounts of rational learning attempt to vindicate the intuitive idea that, while rationally-formed belief need not be true, it is nevertheless likely to be true. To this end, they attempt to show that the Bayesian's rational learning norms are a consequence of the rational pursuit of accuracy. Existing accounts fall short of this goal, for they presuppose evidential norms which are not and cannot be vindicated in terms of the single-minded pursuit of accuracy. I propose an alternative account, according (...)
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  • The Explanatory Role of Consistency Requirements.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Is epistemic inconsistency a mere symptom of having violated other requirements of rationality—notably, reasons-responsiveness requirements? Or is inconsistency irrational on its own? This question has important implications for the debate on the normativity of epistemic rationality. In this paper, I defend a new account of the explanatory role of the requirement of epistemic consistency. Roughly, I will argue that, in cases where an epistemically rational agent is permitted to believe P and also permitted to disbelieve P, the consistency requirement plays (...)
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  • On the Normativity of Rationality and of Normative Reasons.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - manuscript
    Abstract: Scepticism about the normativity of rationality is often partially based on the assumption that normative reasons are normative. Starting from the assumption that normative reasons are normative, someone will argue that reasons and rationality can require different things from us and conclude that rationality must not be normative. We think that the assumption that normative reasons are normative is one that deserves more scrutiny, particularly if it turns out, as we shall argue, that no one has yet shown that (...)
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  • The Representation of Belief.Isaac Wilhelm - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4):715-732.
    I derive a sufficient condition for a belief set to be representable by a probability function: if at least one comparative confidence ordering of a certain type satisfies Scott’s axiom, then the belief set used to induce that ordering is representable. This provides support for Kenny Easwaran’s project of analyzing doxastic states in terms of belief sets rather than credences.
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  • Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
    It is valuable for inquiry to have researchers who are committed advocates of their own theories. However, in light of pervasive disagreement, such a commitment is not well explained by the idea that researchers believe their theories. Instead, this commitment, the rational attitude to take toward one’s favored theory during the course of inquiry, is what I call endorsement. Endorsement is a doxastic attitude, but one which is governed by a different type of epistemic rationality. This inclusive epistemic rationality is (...)
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  • Moral Caution and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Jonathan Matheson - 2016 - Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (2):120-141.
    In this article, I propose, defend, and apply a principle for applied ethics. According to this principle, we should exercise moral caution, at least when we can. More formally, the principle claims that if you should believe or suspend judgment that doing an action is a serious moral wrong, while knowing that not doing that action is not morally wrong, then you should not do that action. After motivating this principle, I argue that it has significant application in applied ethics. (...)
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  • A Game-Theoretic Approach to Peer Disagreement.Remco Heesen & Pieter van der Kolk - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1345-1368.
    In this paper we propose and analyze a game-theoretic model of the epistemology of peer disagreement. In this model, the peers' rationality is evaluated in terms of their probability of ending the disagreement with a true belief. We find that different strategies---in particular, one based on the Steadfast View and one based on the Conciliatory View---are rational depending on the truth-sensitivity of the individuals involved in the disagreement. Interestingly, the Steadfast and the Conciliatory Views can even be rational simultaneously in (...)
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  • Accuracy for Believers.Julia Staffel - 2017 - Episteme 14 (1):39-48.
    In Accuracy and the Laws of Credence Richard Pettigrew assumes a particular view of belief, which states that people don't have any other doxastic states besides credences. This is in tension with the popular position that people have both credences and outright beliefs. Pettigrew claims that such a dual view of belief is incompatible with the accuracy-first approach. I argue in this paper that it is not. This is good news for Pettigrew, since it broadens the appeal of his framework.
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  • Confirmation and the Ordinal Equivalence Thesis.Olav Benjamin Vassend - 2017 - Synthese:1-17.
    According to a widespread but implicit thesis in Bayesian confirmation theory, two confirmation measures are considered equivalent if they are ordinally equivalent—call this the “ordinal equivalence thesis”. I argue that adopting OET has significant costs. First, adopting OET renders one incapable of determining whether a piece of evidence substantially favors one hypothesis over another. Second, OET must be rejected if merely ordinal conclusions are to be drawn from the expected value of a confirmation measure. Furthermore, several arguments and applications of (...)
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  • The Normative Status of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Stanford Enyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Confirmation and the Ordinal Equivalence Thesis.Olav B. Vassend - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1079-1095.
    According to a widespread but implicit thesis in Bayesian confirmation theory, two confirmation measures are considered equivalent if they are ordinally equivalent—call this the “ordinal equivalence thesis”. I argue that adopting OET has significant costs. First, adopting OET renders one incapable of determining whether a piece of evidence substantially favors one hypothesis over another. Second, OET must be rejected if merely ordinal conclusions are to be drawn from the expected value of a confirmation measure. Furthermore, several arguments and applications of (...)
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  • Simple Belief.John Collins - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • Must Good Reasoning Satisfy Cumulative Transitivity?Shyam Nair - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):123-146.
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  • II—Pluralism About Belief States.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):187-204.
    With his Humean thesis on belief, Leitgeb seeks to say how beliefs and credences ought to interact with one another. To argue for this thesis, he enumerates the roles beliefs must play and the properties they must have if they are to play them, together with norms that beliefs and credences intuitively must satisfy. He then argues that beliefs can play these roles and satisfy these norms if, and only if, they are related to credences in the way set out (...)
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  • Rational Stability Under Pragmatic Encroachment.Mark Schroeder - 2018 - Episteme 15 (3):297-312.
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  • Fallibilism, Verisimilitude, and the Preface Paradox.Gustavo Cevolani - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (1):169-183.
    The Preface Paradox apparently shows that it is sometimes rational to believe logically incompatible propositions. In this paper, I propose a way out of the paradox based on the ideas of fallibilism and verisimilitude. More precisely, I defend the view that a rational inquirer can fallibly believe or accept a proposition which is false, or likely false, but verisimilar; and I argue that this view makes the Preface Paradox disappear. Some possible objections to my proposal, and an alternative view of (...)
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  • The Calendar Paradox.Sam Shpall - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):801-825.
    Presents an analogue of the Preface Paradox for intention, and discusses possible implications for the philosophy of action.
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  • What is Justified Credence?Richard Pettigrew - forthcoming - Episteme:1-15.
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  • Measuring Inaccuracy of Uncertain Doxastic States in Many-Valued Logical Systems.Pavel Janda - 2016 - Journal of Applied Logic 14:95-112.
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