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The epistemic virtues of consistency

Synthese 109 (2):121-141 (1996)

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  1. 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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  • The Right in the Good: A Defense of Teleological Non-Consequentialism in Epistemology.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij Jeff Dunn (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
    There has been considerable discussion recently of consequentialist justifications of epistemic norms. In this paper, I shall argue that these justifications are not justifications. The consequentialist needs a value theory, a theory of the epistemic good. The standard theory treats accuracy as the fundamental epistemic good and assumes that it is a good that calls for promotion. Both claims are mistaken. The fundamental epistemic good involves accuracy, but it involves more than just that. The fundamental epistemic good is knowledge, not (...)
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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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  • Can the Lottery Paradox Be Solved by Identifying Epistemic Justification with Epistemic Permissibility?Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
    Thomas Kroedel argues that the lottery paradox can be solved by identifying epistemic justification with epistemic permissibility rather than epistemic obligation. According to his permissibility solution, we are permitted to believe of each lottery ticket that it will lose, but since permissions do not agglomerate, it does not follow that we are permitted to have all of these beliefs together, and therefore it also does not follow that we are permitted to believe that all tickets will lose. I present two (...)
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  • Four Arguments for Denying That Lottery Beliefs Are Justified.Martin Smith - forthcoming - In Douven, I. ed. Lotteries, Knowledge and Rational Belief: Essays on the Lottery Paradox (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Cambridge:
    A ‘lottery belief’ is a belief that a particular ticket has lost a large, fair lottery, based on nothing more than the odds against it winning. The lottery paradox brings out a tension between the idea that lottery beliefs are justified and the idea that that one can always justifiably believe the deductive consequences of things that one justifiably believes – what is sometimes called the principle of closure. Many philosophers have treated the lottery paradox as an argument against the (...)
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  • From Probabilities to Categorical Beliefs: Going Beyond Toy Models.Igor Douven & Hans Rott - 2018 - Journal of Logic and Computation.
    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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  • 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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  • A Generalised Lottery Paradox for Infinite Probability Spaces.Martin Smith - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):821-831.
    Many epistemologists have responded to the lottery paradox by proposing formal rules according to which high probability defeasibly warrants acceptance. Douven and Williamson present an ingenious argument purporting to show that such rules invariably trivialise, in that they reduce to the claim that a probability of 1 warrants acceptance. Douven and Williamson’s argument does, however, rest upon significant assumptions – amongst them a relatively strong structural assumption to the effect that the underlying probability space is both finite and uniform. In (...)
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  • The Lottery Paradox Generalized?Jake Chandler - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):667-679.
    In a recent article, Douven and Williamson offer both (i) a rebuttal of various recent suggested sufficient conditions for rational acceptability and (ii) an alleged ‘generalization’ of this rebuttal, which, they claim, tells against a much broader class of potential suggestions. However, not only is the result mentioned in (ii) not a generalization of the findings referred to in (i), but in contrast to the latter, it fails to have the probative force advertised. Their paper does however, if unwittingly, bring (...)
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  • A New Solution to the Paradoxes of Rational Acceptability.Igor Douven - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (3):391-410.
    The Lottery Paradox and the Preface Paradox both involve the thesis that high probability is sufficient for rational acceptability. The standard solution to these paradoxes denies that rational acceptability is deductively closed. This solution has a number of untoward consequences. The present paper suggests that a better solution to the paradoxes is to replace the thesis that high probability suffices for rational acceptability with a somewhat stricter thesis. This avoids the untoward consequences of the standard solution. The new solution will (...)
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  • Generalizing the Lottery Paradox.Igor Douven & Timothy Williamson - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):755-779.
    This paper is concerned with formal solutions to the lottery paradox on which high probability defeasibly warrants acceptance. It considers some recently proposed solutions of this type and presents an argument showing that these solutions are trivial in that they boil down to the claim that perfect probability is sufficient for rational acceptability. The argument is then generalized, showing that a broad class of similar solutions faces the same problem. An argument against some formal solutions to the lottery paradox The (...)
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  • What Else Justification Could Be1.Martin Smith - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):10-31.
    According to a captivating picture, epistemic justification is essentially a matter of epistemic or evidential likelihood. While certain problems for this view are well known, it is motivated by a very natural thought—if justification can fall short of epistemic certainty, then what else could it possibly be? In this paper I shall develop an alternative way of thinking about epistemic justification. On this conception, the difference between justification and likelihood turns out to be akin to the more widely recognised difference (...)
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  • Knowledge, Justification and Normative Coincidence1.Martin Smith - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):273-295.
    Say that two goals are normatively coincident just in case one cannot aim for one goal without automatically aiming for the other. While knowledge and justification are distinct epistemic goals, with distinct achievement conditions, this paper begins from the suggestion that they are nevertheless normatively coincident—aiming for knowledge and aiming for justification are one and the same activity. A number of surprising consequences follow from this—both specific consequences about how we can ascribe knowledge and justification in lottery cases and more (...)
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  • When Does Evidence Suffice for Conviction?Martin Smith - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1193-1218.
    There is something puzzling about statistical evidence. One place this manifests is in the law, where courts are reluctant to base affirmative verdicts on evidence that is purely statistical, in spite of the fact that it is perfectly capable of meeting the standards of proof enshrined in legal doctrine. After surveying some proposed explanations for this, I shall outline a new approach – one that makes use of a notion of normalcy that is distinct from the idea of statistical frequency. (...)
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  • Full & Partial Belief.Konstantin Genin - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 437-498.
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  • Believing Things Unknown.Aidan McGlynn - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):385-407.
  • Fricker on Testimonial Justification.Igor Douven & Stefaan E. Cuypers - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (1):36-44.
    Elizabeth Fricker has recently proposed a principle aimed at stating the necessary and sufficient conditions for testimonial justification. Her proposal entails that a hearer is justified in believing a speaker’s testimony only if she recognizes the speaker to be trustworthy, which, given Fricker’s internalist commitments, requires the hearer to have within her epistemic purview grounds which justify belief in the speaker’s trustworthiness. We argue that, as it stands, Fricker’s principle is too demanding, and we propose some amendments to it. We (...)
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  • Not Without Justification.Christoph Kelp - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):581-595.
    In this paper I take issue with Jonathan Sutton's attempt at defending the thesis that knowledge is justified belief. I argue, first, that the arguments he adduces in support of it fail. Second, I provide independent reason to believe that knowledge and justified belief come apart.
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  • Lotteries and Justification.Christoph Kelp - unknown
    The lottery paradox shows that the following three individually highly plausible theses are jointly incompatible: highly probable propositions are justifiably believable, justified believability is closed under conjunction introduction, known contradictions are not justifiably believable. This paper argues that a satisfactory solution to the lottery paradox must reject as versions of the paradox can be generated without appeal to either or and proposes a new solution to the paradox in terms of a novel account of justified believability.
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  • Assertion, Knowledge, and Rational Credibility.Igor Douven - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (4):449-485.
  • The Normative Status of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Stanford Enyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Accuracy, Coherence, and Evidence.Branden Fitelson & Kenny Easwaran - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 5:61-96.
    Taking Joyce’s (1998; 2009) recent argument(s) for probabilism as our point of departure, we propose a new way of grounding formal, synchronic, epistemic coherence requirements for (opinionated) full belief. Our approach yields principled alternatives to deductive consistency, sheds new light on the preface and lottery paradoxes, and reveals novel conceptual connections between alethic and evidential epistemic norms.
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  • A Bitter Pill for Closure.Marvin Backes - 2018 - Synthese.
    The primary objective of this paper is to introduce a new epistemic paradox that puts pressure on the claim that justification is closed under multi premise deduction. The first part of the paper will consider two well-known paradoxes—the lottery and the preface paradox—and outline two popular strategies for solving the paradoxes without denying closure. The second part will introduce a new, structurally related, paradox that is immune to these closure-preserving solutions. I will call this paradox, The Paradox of the Pill. (...)
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  • You’Ve Come a Long Way, Bayesians.Jonathan Weisberg - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):817-834.
    Forty years ago, Bayesian philosophers were just catching a new wave of technical innovation, ushering in an era of scoring rules, imprecise credences, and infinitesimal probabilities. Meanwhile, down the hall, Gettier’s 1963 paper [28] was shaping a literature with little obvious interest in the formal programs of Reichenbach, Hempel, and Carnap, or their successors like Jeffrey, Levi, Skyrms, van Fraassen, and Lewis. And how Bayesians might accommodate the discourses of full belief and knowledge was but a glimmer in the eye (...)
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  • Knowledge, Justification, and (a Sort of) Safe Belief.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    An influential proposal is that knowledge involves safe belief. A belief is safe, in the relevant sense, just in case it is true in nearby metaphysically possible worlds. In this paper, I introduce a distinct but complementary notion of safety, understood in terms of epistemically possible worlds. The main aim, in doing so, is to add to the epistemologist’s tool-kit. To demonstrate the usefulness of the tool, I use it to advance and assess substantive proposals concerning knowledge and justification.
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  • The Ambiguity of Quantifiers.Francesco Paoli - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 124 (3):313-330.
    In the tradition of substructural logics, it has been claimed for a long time that conjunction and inclusive disjunction are ambiguous:we should, in fact, distinguish between ‘lattice’ connectives (also called additive or extensional) and ‘group’ connectives (also called multiplicative or intensional). We argue that an analogous ambiguity affects the quantifiers. Moreover, we show how such a perspective could yield solutions for two well-known logical puzzles: McGee’s counterexample to modus ponens and the lottery paradox.
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  • Lotteries And Contexts.Peter Baumann - 2004 - Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):415-428.
    There are many ordinary propositions we think we know. Almost every ordinary proposition entails some "lottery proposition" which we think we do not know but to which we assign a high probability of being true (for instance: “I will never be a multi-millionaire” entails “I will not win this lottery”). How is this possible - given that some closure principle is true? This problem, also known as “the Lottery puzzle”, has recently provoked a lot of discussion. In this paper I (...)
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  • A Geo-Logical Solution to the Lottery Paradox, with Applications to Conditional Logic.Hanti Lin & Kevin Kelly - 2012 - Synthese 186 (2):531-575.
  • The Lottery Paradox and Our Epistemic Goal.Igor Douven - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):204-225.
    Many have the intuition that the right response to the Lottery Paradox is to deny that one can justifiably believe of even a single lottery ticket that it will lose. The paper shows that from any theory of justification that solves the paradox in accordance with this intuition, a theory not of that kind can be derived that also solves the paradox but is more conducive to our epistemic goal than the former. It is argued that currently there is no (...)
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  • This Paper Surely Contains Some Errors.Brian Kim - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1013-1029.
    The preface paradox can be motivated by appealing to a plausible inference from an author’s reasonable assertion that her book is bound to contain errors to the author’s rational belief that her book contains errors. By evaluating and undermining the validity of this inference, I offer a resolution of the paradox. Discussions of the preface paradox have surprisingly failed to note that expressions of fallibility made in prefaces typically employ terms such as surely, undoubtedly, and bound to be. After considering (...)
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