Subjective Probability and the Content/Attitude Distinction

Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6 (2019)
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On an attractive, naturalistically respectable theory of intentionality, mental contents are a form of measurement system for representing behavioral and psychological dispositions. This chapter argues that a consequence of this view is that the content/attitude distinction is measurement system relative. As a result, there is substantial arbitrariness in the content/attitude distinction. Whether some measurement of mental states counts as characterizing the content of mental states or the attitude is not a question of empirical discovery but of theoretical utility. If correct, this observation has ramifications in the theory of rationality. Some epistemologists and decision theorists have argued that imprecise credences are rationally impermissible, while others have argued that precise credences are rationally impermissible. If the measure theory of mental content is correct, however, then neither imprecise credences nor precise credences can be rationally impermissible.



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Jennifer Rose Carr
University of California, San Diego

Citations of this work

Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Grace Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
Are Credences Different From Beliefs?Roger Clarke & Julia Staffel - forthcoming - In Blake Roeber, Matthias Steup, John Turri & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley Blackwell.
Imprecise Credences and Acceptance.Benjamin Lennertz - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9.

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