Downwards Propriety in Epistemic Utility Theory

Mind 132 (525):30-62 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.

Similar books and articles

Good Questions.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2018 - In Jeffrey Dunn & Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford, UK: pp. 123-145.
Epistemic Utility Theory and the Aim of Belief.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):511-534.
A Pragmatist’s Guide to Epistemic Utility.Benjamin Anders Levinstein - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):613-638.
Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - New York, NY.: Oxford University Press UK.
Repugnant Accuracy.Brian Talbot - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):540-563.
Epistemic Value and the Jamesian Goals.Sophie Horowitz - 2017 - In Jeffrey Dunn Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
Epistemic utility theory’s difficult future.Chad Marxen - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7401-7421.
Epistemic Expansions.Jennifer Carr - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):217-236.
Who Cares What You Accurately Believe?Clayton Littlejohn - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):217-248.
Veritism, Epistemic Risk, and the Swamping Problem.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):761-774.


Added to PP

201 (#88,719)

6 months
77 (#49,755)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alejandro Pérez Carballo
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Citations of this work

Generalized Immodesty Principles in Epistemic Utility Theory.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10 (31):874–907.

Add more citations

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.
The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.

View all 43 references / Add more references