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Epistemic instrumentalism

Synthese 190 (9):1701-1718 (2013)

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  1. Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Too Few Reasons Objection.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):337-355.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic normativity arises from and depends on facts about our ends. On that view, a consideration C is an epistemic reason for a subject S to Φ only if Φ-ing would promote an end that S has. However, according to the Too Few Epistemic Reasons objection, this cannot be correct since there are cases in which, intuitively, C is an epistemic reason for S to Φ even though Φ-ing would not promote any of S’s ends. After (...)
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  • Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
    For many epistemologists and normativity theorists, epistemic norms necessarily entail normative reasons. Why or in virtue of what do epistemic norms have this necessary normative authority? According to what I call epistemic constitutivism, it is ultimately because belief constitutively aims at truth. In this paper, I examine various versions of the aim of belief thesis and argue that none of them can plausibly ground the normative authority of epistemic norms. I conclude that epistemic constitutivism is not a promising strategy for (...)
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  • A Short Refutation of Strict Normative Evidentialism.Andrew E. Reisner - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (5):1-9.
    This paper shows that strict evidentialism about normative reasons for belief is inconsistent with taking truth to be the source of normative reasons for belief. It does so by showing that there are circumstances in which one can know what truth requires one to believe, yet still lack evidence for the contents of that belief.
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  • The Uniqueness Thesis.Matthew Kopec & Michael G. Titelbaum - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (4):189-200.
    The Uniqueness Thesis holds, roughly speaking, that there is a unique rational response to any particular body of evidence. We first sketch some varieties of Uniqueness that appear in the literature. We then discuss some popular views that conflict with Uniqueness and others that require Uniqueness to be true. We then examine some arguments that have been presented in its favor and discuss why permissivists find them unconvincing. Last, we present some purported counterexamples that have been raised against Uniqueness and (...)
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  • A Counterexample to the Uniqueness Thesis.Matthew Kopec - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):403-409.
    In this essay, I present a straightforward counterexample to the Uniqueness Thesis, which holds, roughly speaking, that there is a unique rational response to any particular body of evidence.
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  • Is Epistemic Normativity Value-Based?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2017 - Dialogue 56 (3):407-430.
    What is the source of epistemic normativity? In virtue of what do epistemic norms have categorical normative authority? According to epistemic teleologism, epistemic normativity comes from value. Epistemic norms have categorical authority because conforming to them is necessarily good in some relevant sense. In this article, I argue that epistemic teleologism should be rejected. The problem, I argue, is that there is no relevant sense in which it is always good to believe in accordance with epistemic norms, including in cases (...)
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  • Epistemic Rationality.Harvey Siegel - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (5):608-630.
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  • Two Types of Epistemic Instrumentalism.Charles Côté-Bouchard - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Epistemic instrumentalism (EI) views epistemic norms and epistemic normativity as essentially involving the instrumental relation between means and ends. It construes notions like epistemic normativity, norms, and rationality, as forms of instrumental or means-end normativity, norms, and rationality. I do two main things in this paper. In part 1, I argue that there is an under-appreciated distinction between two independent types of epistemic instrumentalism. These are instrumentalism about epistemic norms (norm-EI) and instrumentalism about epistemic normativity (source-EI). In part 2, I (...)
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  • We Ought to Agree: A Consequence of Repairing Goldman's Group Scoring Rule.Matthew Kopec - 2012 - Episteme 9 (2):101-114.
    In Knowledge in a Social World, Alvin Goldman presents a framework to quantify the epistemic effects that various policies, procedures, and behaviors can have on a group of agents. In this essay, I show that the framework requires some modifications when applied to agents with credences. The required modifications carry with them an interesting consequence, namely, that any group whose members disagree can become more accurate by forming a consensus through averaging their credences. I sketch a way that this result (...)
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  • A Pluralistic Account of Epistemic Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3571-3596.
    In this essay, I aim to motivate and defend a pluralistic view of epistemic rationality. At the core of the view is the notion that epistemic rationality is essentially a species of practical rationality put in the service of various epistemic goals. I begin by sketching some closely related views that have appeared in the literature. I then present my preferred version of the view and sketch some of its benefits. Thomas Kelly has raised challenging objections to a part of (...)
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  • Les Raisons Épistémiques Sont-Elles Instrumentales?Daniel Laurier - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (2):211-231.
    In a recent article (2011), Steglich-Petersen claims to be able to provide a teleological account of the nature of epistemic reasons which (i) avoids the standard objections to this kind of approach and (ii) is compatible with the evidentialist claim that epistemic reasons always trump non-epistemic reasons (assuming there are such reasons). I argue that his proposal is unable to do justice to the idea that epistemic reasons are constituted by the evidence, and more generally, that it is incoherent to (...)
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