Instrumental rationality, epistemic rationality, and evidence-gathering

Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):85-120 (2010)
Abstract
This paper addresses the question of whether gathering additional evidence is always rationally required, both from the point of view of instrumental rationality and of epistemic rationality. It is shown that in certain situations, it is not instrumentally rational to look for more evidence before making a decision. These are situations in which the risk of “misleading” evidence – a concept that has both instrumental and epistemic senses – is not offset by the gains from the possibility of non-misleading evidence. These situations also undermine a particular argument for the claim that it is epistemically rational to look for more evidence, though it is argued that the relationship between instrumental and epistemic rationality makes such arguments flawed to begin with. Furthermore, these situations show us that our epistemic and our practical goals sometimes point us in different directions, not merely because of our limited resources or because our desires are sometimes best served by being in particular epistemic states, but because of the nature of rational action.
Keywords evidence-gathering  epistemic norms  diachronic epistemic norms  evidence  misleading evidence  risk  risk-weighted expected utility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2010.00186.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,613
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Faith and Steadfastness in the Face of Counter-Evidence.Lara Buchak - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):113-133.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite.Thomas Kelly - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465–474.
Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
Instrumental Rationality.Ralph Wedgwood - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:280-309.
The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality.Stephen Ellis - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):199-220.
Intention, Belief, and Instrumental Rationality.Michael Bratman - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13--36.
Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality.Michael Smith - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):93–109.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-30

Total downloads

425 ( #5,377 of 2,168,955 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

26 ( #12,798 of 2,168,955 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums