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Scott Sturgeon (2008). Reason and the Grain of Belief.

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  1. Preface Writers Are Consistent.Roger Clarke - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    The preface paradox does not show that it can be rational to have inconsistent beliefs, because preface writers do not have inconsistent beliefs. I argue, first, that a fully satisfactory solution to the preface paradox would have it that the preface writer's beliefs are consistent. The case here is on basic intuitive grounds, not the consequence of a theory of rationality or of belief. Second, I point out that there is an independently motivated theory of belief – sensitivism – which (...)
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  2. Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - Mind:fzx028.
    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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  3. Belief, Credence, and Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-13.
    In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
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  4. Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Grace Jackson - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that (i) epistemologists should pay (...)
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  5. A New Puzzle About Belief and Credence.Andrew Moon - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
  6.  40
    Triviality Results For Probabilistic Modals.Goldstein Simon - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In recent years, a number of theorists have claimed that beliefs about probability are transparent. To believe probably p is simply to have a high credence that p. In this paper, I prove a variety of triviality results for theses like the above. I show that such claims are inconsistent with the thesis that probabilistic modal sentences have propositions or sets of worlds as their meaning. Then I consider the extent to which a dynamic semantics for probabilistic modals can capture (...)
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    Credence for Conclusions: A Brief for Jeffrey’s Rule.John R. Welch - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Some arguments are good; others are not. How can we tell the difference? This article advances three proposals as a partial answer to this question. The proposals are keyed to arguments conditioned by different degrees of uncertainty: mild, where the argument’s premises are hedged with point-valued probabilities; moderate, where the premises are hedged with interval probabilities; and severe, where the premises are hedged with non-numeric plausibilities such as ‘very likely’ or ‘unconfirmed’. For mild uncertainty, the article proposes to apply a (...)
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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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  9.  31
    Normalcy, Justification, and the Easy-Defeat Problem.Marvin Backes - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    Recent years have seen the rise of a new family of non-probabilistic accounts of epistemic justification. According to these views—we may call them Normalcy Views—a belief in P is justified only if, given the evidence, there exists no normal world in which S falsely beliefs that P. This paper aims to raise some trouble for this new approach to justification by arguing that Normalcy Views, while initially attractive, give rise to problematic accounts of epistemic defeat. As we will see, on (...)
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  10.  34
    Closure and Epistemic Modals.Justin Bledin & Tamar Lando - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):3-22.
    According to a popular closure principle for epistemic justification, if one is justified in believing each of the premises in set Φ and one comes to believe that ψ on the basis of competently deducing ψ from Φ—while retaining justified beliefs in the premises—then one is justified in believing that ψ. This principle is prima facie compelling; it seems to capture the sense in which competent deduction is an epistemically secure means to extend belief. However, even the single-premise version of (...)
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  11.  10
    When Obstinacy is a Better Policy.Justin Dallmann - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
    For epistemic subjects like us, updating our credences incurs epistemic costs. Expending our limited processing power and working memory to properly update our credences by some information can come at the cost of not responding to other available information. It is thus desirable to flesh out and compare alternative ways of taking information into account in light of cognitive shortcomings like our own. This paper is a preliminary attempt to do so. I argue that it is better, in a range (...)
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  12.  9
    Credence and Correctness: In Defense of Credal Reductivism.Matthew Brandon Lee - 2017 - Philosophical Papers 46 (2):273-296.
    Credal reductivism is the view that outright belief is reducible to degrees of confidence or ‘credence’. The most popular versions of credal reductivism all have the consequence that if you are near-maximally confident that p in a low-stakes situation, then you outright believe p. This paper addresses a recent objection to this consequence—the Correctness Objection— introduced by Jeremy Fantl and Matthew McGrath and further developed by Jacob Ross and Mark Schroeder. The objection is that near-maximal confidence cannot entail outright belief (...)
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  13.  58
    Vague Credence.Aidan Lyon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3931-3954.
    It is natural to think of precise probabilities as being special cases of imprecise probabilities, the special case being when one’s lower and upper probabilities are equal. I argue, however, that it is better to think of the two models as representing two different aspects of our credences, which are often vague to some degree. I show that by combining the two models into one model, and understanding that model as a model of vague credence, a natural interpretation arises that (...)
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  14. Beliefs Do Not Come in Degrees.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):760-778.
    Philosophers commonly say that beliefs come in degrees. Drawing from the literature, I make precise three arguments for this claim: an argument from degrees of confidence, an argument from degrees of firmness, and an argument from natural language. I show that they all fail. I also advance three arguments that beliefs do not come in degrees: an argument from natural language, an argument from intuition, and an argument from the metaphysics of degrees. On the basis of these arguments, I conclude (...)
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  15.  72
    The Accuracy and Rationality of Imprecise Credences.Miriam Schoenfield - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):667-685.
    It has been claimed that, in response to certain kinds of evidence, agents ought to adopt imprecise credences: doxastic states that are represented by sets of credence functions rather than single ones. In this paper I argue that, given some plausible constraints on accuracy measures, accuracy-centered epistemologists must reject the requirement to adopt imprecise credences. I then show that even the claim that imprecise credences are permitted is problematic for accuracy-centered epistemology. It follows that if imprecise credal states are permitted (...)
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  16. The Beliefs and Intentions of Buridan's Ass.Nathaniel Sharadin & Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):209-226.
    The moral of Buridan's Ass is that it can sometimes be rational to perform one action rather than another even though one lacks stronger reason to do so. Yet it is also commonly believed that it cannot ever be rational to believe one proposition rather than another if one lacks stronger reason to do so. This asymmetry has been taken to indicate a deep difference between epistemic and practical rationality. According to the view articulated here, the asymmetry should instead be (...)
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  17.  71
    Consequence and Normative Guidance.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1).
    Logic, the tradition has it, is normative for reasoning. But is that really so? And if so, in what sense is logic normative for reasoning? As Gilbert Harman has reminded us, devising a logic and devising a theory of reasoning are two separate enterprises. Hence, logic's normative authority cannot reside in the fact that principles of logic just are norms of reasoning. Once we cease to identify the two, we are left with a gap. To bridge the gap one would (...)
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  18. Can Free Evidence Be Bad? Value of Information for the Imprecise Probabilist.Seamus Bradley & Katie Steele - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (1):1-28.
    This paper considers a puzzling conflict between two positions that are each compelling: it is irrational for an agent to pay to avoid `free' evidence before making a decision, and rational agents may have imprecise beliefs and/or desires. Indeed, we show that Good's theorem concerning the invariable choice-worthiness of free evidence does not generalise to the imprecise realm, given the plausible existing decision theories for handling imprecision. A key ingredient in the analysis, and a potential source of controversy, is the (...)
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  19.  69
    Belief Without Credence.J. Adam Carter, Benjamin W. Jarvis & Katherine Rubin - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2323-2351.
    One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be (...)
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  20. Belief is Weak.John Hawthorne, Daniel Rothschild & Levi Spectre - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1393-1404.
    It is tempting to posit an intimate relationship between belief and assertion. The speech act of assertion seems like a way of transferring the speaker’s belief to his or her audience. If this is right, then you might think that the evidential warrant required for asserting a proposition is just the same as the warrant for believing it. We call this thesis entitlement equality. We argue here that entitlement equality is false, because our everyday notion of belief is unambiguously a (...)
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  21.  15
    Bayesian Models, Delusional Beliefs, and Epistemic Possibilities.Matthew Parrott - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):271-296.
    The Capgras delusion is a condition in which a person believes that an imposter has replaced some close friend or relative. Recent theorists have appealed to Bayesianism to help explain both why a subject with the Capgras delusion adopts this delusional belief and why it persists despite counter-evidence. The Bayesian approach is useful for addressing these questions; however, the main proposal of this essay is that Capgras subjects also have a delusional conception of epistemic possibility, more specifically, they think more (...)
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    The Application of Constraint Semantics to the Language of Subjective Uncertainty.Eric Swanson - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (2):121-146.
    This paper develops a compositional, type-driven constraint semantic theory for a fragment of the language of subjective uncertainty. In the particular application explored here, the interpretation function of constraint semantics yields not propositions but constraints on credal states as the semantic values of declarative sentences. Constraints are richer than propositions in that constraints can straightforwardly represent assessments of the probability that the world is one way rather than another. The richness of constraints helps us model communicative acts in essentially the (...)
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  23.  5
    Two Facets of Belief.Bernhard Weiss - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (3):413-432.
    I begin by contrasting two facets of belief: that belief is a response to a sufficiency of evidence and that belief plays a role in one’s representation of reality. I claim that these conceptions of belief are in tension because whilst the latter – Representationalism – requires Logical Coherence of belief the former – Thresholdism – conflicts with Logical Coherence. Thus we need to choose between conceptions. Many have argued that the Preface Paradox supports Thresholdism. In contrast I argue that (...)
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  24. Belief, Credence, and the Preface Paradox.Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):549-562.
    ABSTRACTMany discussions of the ‘preface paradox’ assume that it is more troubling for deductive closure constraints on rational belief if outright belief is reducible to credence. I show that this is an error: we can generate the problem without assuming such reducibility. All that we need are some very weak normative assumptions about rational relationships between belief and credence. The only view that escapes my way of formulating the problem for the deductive closure constraint is in fact itself a reductive (...)
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  25. Expecting the Unexpected.Tom Dougherty, Sophie Horowitz & Paulina Sliwa - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):301-321.
    In an influential paper, L. A. Paul argues that one cannot rationally decide whether to have children. In particular, she argues that such a decision is intractable for standard decision theory. Paul's central argument in this paper rests on the claim that becoming a parent is ``epistemically transformative''---prior to becoming a parent, it is impossible to know what being a parent is like. Paul argues that because parenting is epistemically transformative, one cannot estimate the values of the various outcomes of (...)
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  26.  50
    Philosophy of Climate Science Part II: Modelling Climate Change.Roman Frigg, Erica Thompson & Charlotte Werndl - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):965-977.
    This is the second of three parts of an introduction to the philosophy of climate science. In this second part about modelling climate change, the topics of climate modelling, confirmation of climate models, the limits of climate projections, uncertainty and finally model ensembles will be discussed.
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  27. Evidential Incomparability and the Principle of Indifference.Martin Smith - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):605-616.
    The _Principle of Indifference_ was once regarded as a linchpin of probabilistic reasoning, but has now fallen into disrepute as a result of the so-called _problem of multiple of partitions_. In ‘Evidential symmetry and mushy credence’ Roger White suggests that we have been too quick to jettison this principle and argues that the problem of multiple partitions rests on a mistake. In this paper I will criticise White’s attempt to revive POI. In so doing, I will argue that what underlies (...)
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  28. 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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  29.  37
    Uncertainty, Learning, and the “Problem” of Dilation.Seamus Bradley & Katie Steele - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1287-1303.
    Imprecise probabilism—which holds that rational belief/credence is permissibly represented by a set of probability functions—apparently suffers from a problem known as dilation. We explore whether this problem can be avoided or mitigated by one of the following strategies: (a) modifying the rule by which the credal state is updated, (b) restricting the domain of reasonable credal states to those that preclude dilation.
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  30. Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
    There are currently two robust traditions in philosophy dealing with doxastic attitudes: the tradition that is concerned primarily with all-or-nothing belief, and the tradition that is concerned primarily with degree of belief or credence. This paper concerns the relationship between belief and credence for a rational agent, and is directed at those who may have hoped that the notion of belief can either be reduced to credence or eliminated altogether when characterizing the norms governing ideally rational agents. It presents a (...)
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  31.  43
    A Normatively Adequate Credal Reductivism.Justin M. Dallmann - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2301-2313.
    It is a prevalent, if not popular, thesis in the metaphysics of belief that facts about an agent’s beliefs depend entirely upon facts about that agent’s underlying credal state. Call this thesis ‘credal reductivism’ and any view that endorses this thesis a ‘credal reductivist view’. An adequate credal reductivist view will accurately predict both when belief occurs and which beliefs are held appropriately, on the basis of credal facts alone. Several well-known—and some lesser known—objections to credal reductivism turn on the (...)
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  32. Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Leah Henderson - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):687-715.
    Two of the most influential theories about scientific inference are inference to the best explanation and Bayesianism. How are they related? Bas van Fraassen has claimed that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible rival theories, as any probabilistic version of IBE would violate Bayesian conditionalization. In response, several authors have defended the view that IBE is compatible with Bayesian updating. They claim that the explanatory considerations in IBE are taken into account by the Bayesian because the Bayesian either does or should (...)
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  33. Bayesian Models, Delusional Beliefs, and Epistemic Possibilities.Matthew Parrott - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axu036.
    The Capgras delusion is a condition in which a person believes that an imposter has replaced some close friend or relative. Recent theorists have appealed to Bayesianism to help explain both why a subject with the Capgras delusion adopts this delusional belief and why it persists despite counter-evidence. The Bayesian approach is useful for addressing these questions; however, the main proposal of this essay is that Capgras subjects also have a delusional conception of epistemic possibility, more specifically, they think more (...)
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  34. Demystifying Dilation.Arthur Paul Pedersen & Gregory Wheeler - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1305-1342.
    Dilation occurs when an interval probability estimate of some event E is properly included in the interval probability estimate of E conditional on every event F of some partition, which means that one’s initial estimate of E becomes less precise no matter how an experiment turns out. Critics maintain that dilation is a pathological feature of imprecise probability models, while others have thought the problem is with Bayesian updating. However, two points are often overlooked: (1) knowing that E is stochastically (...)
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  35.  50
    Sleeping Beauty Should Be Imprecise.Daniel Jeremy Singer - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3159-3172.
    The traditional solutions to the Sleeping Beauty problem say that Beauty should have either a sharp 1/3 or sharp 1/2 credence that the coin flip was heads when she wakes. But Beauty’s evidence is incomplete so that it doesn’t warrant a precise credence, I claim. Instead, Beauty ought to have a properly imprecise credence when she wakes. In particular, her representor ought to assign \(R(H\!eads)=[0,1/2]\) . I show, perhaps surprisingly, that this solution can account for the many of the intuitions (...)
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  36. Conversational Implicature, Communicative Intentions, and Content.Ray Buchanan - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5):720-740.
    (2013). Conversational implicature, communicative intentions, and content. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 720-740.
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  37.  67
    Coming to Terms with Our Human Fallibility: Christensen on the Preface.Mark Kaplan - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):1-35.
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  38.  71
    Reducing Belief Simpliciter to Degrees of Belief.Hannes Leitgeb - 2013 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 164 (12):1338-1389.
    Is it possible to give an explicit definition of belief in terms of subjective probability, such that believed propositions are guaranteed to have a sufficiently high probability, and yet it is neither the case that belief is stripped of any of its usual logical properties, nor is it the case that believed propositions are bound to have probability 1? We prove the answer is ‘yes’, and that given some plausible logical postulates on belief that involve a contextual “cautiousness” threshold, there (...)
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  39. When Warrant Transmits and When It Doesn't: Towards a General Framework.Luca Moretti & Tommaso Piazza - 2013 - Synthese 190 (13):2481-2503.
    In this paper we focus on transmission and failure of transmission of warrant. We identify three individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for transmission of warrant, and we show that their satisfaction grounds a number of interesting epistemic phenomena that have not been sufficiently appreciated in the literature. We then scrutinise Wright’s analysis of transmission failure and improve on extant readings of it. Nonetheless, we present a Bayesian counterexample that shows that Wright’s analysis is partially incoherent with our analysis of (...)
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  40. Disagreement, Evidence, and Agnosticism.Jason Decker - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):753-783.
    In this paper, I respond to recent attempts by philosophers to deny the existence of something that is both real and significant: reasonable disagreements between epistemic peers. In their arguments against the possibility of such disagreements, skeptical philosophers typically invoke one or more of the following: indifference reasoning , equal weight principles , and uniqueness theses . I take up each of these in turn, finding ample reason to resist them. The arguments for indifference reasoning and equal weight principles tend (...)
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  41. Outright Belief.Ralph Wedgwood - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (3):309–329.
    Sometimes, we think of belief as a phenomenon that comes in degrees – that is, in the many different levels of confidence that a thinker might have in various different propositions. Sometimes, we think of belief as a simple two-place relation that holds between a thinker and a proposition – that is, as what I shall here call "outright belief".
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    VI-BayesianExpressivism.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):123-160.
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    A Puzzle About Ineffable Propositions.Agustín Rayo - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):289 - 295.
    I will argue for localism about credal assignments: the view that credal assignments are well-defined only relative to suitably constrained sets of possibilities. I will motivate the position by suggesting that it is the best way of addressing a puzzle devised by Roger White.
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  44. What Else Justification Could Be.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 (...)
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  45.  19
    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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  46. Normative Judgement.Scott Sturgeon - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):569–587.