Downwards Propriety in Epistemic Utility Theory

Mind 132 (525):30-62 (2023)
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Epistemic Utility Theory is often identified with the project of *axiology-first epistemology*—the project of vindicating norms of epistemic rationality purely in terms of epistemic value. One of the central goals of axiology-first epistemology is to provide a justification of the central norm of Bayesian epistemology, Probabilism. The first part of this paper presents a new challenge to axiology first epistemology: I argue that in order to justify Probabilism in purely axiological terms, proponents of axiology first epistemology need to justify a claim about epistemic value—what I label ‘Downwards Propriety’—much stronger than any they have offered justification. The second part of this paper offers an argument that this challenge cannot be met: that there is no hope for providing a purely axiological justification of Downwards Propriety, at least given widely accepted assumptions about epistemic value.

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Alejandro Pérez Carballo
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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References found in this work

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - New York, NY.: Oxford University Press UK.
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Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.

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