Synthese:1-21 (forthcoming)

Authors
Charles Cote-Bouchard
Université de Montréal
Abstract
Epistemic instrumentalism (EI) views epistemic norms and epistemic normativity as essentially involving the instrumental relation between means and ends. It construes notions like epistemic normativity, norms, and rationality, as forms of instrumental or means-end normativity, norms, and rationality. I do two main things in this paper. In part 1, I argue that there is an under-appreciated distinction between two independent types of epistemic instrumentalism. These are instrumentalism about epistemic norms (norm-EI) and instrumentalism about epistemic normativity (source-EI). In part 2, I argue that this under-appreciated distinction matters for the debate surrounding the plausibility of EI. Specifically, whether we interpret EI as norm-EI or as source-EI matters (i) for the widely discussed universality or categoricity objection to EI, and (ii) for two important motivations for adopting EI, namely naturalism and the practical utility of epistemic norms. I will then conclude by drawing some lessons for epistemic instrumentalism going forward.
Keywords Epistemic normativity  Epistemic instrumentalism  Epistemic rationality  Instrumental rationality  Epistemology  Epistemic norms  Normativity  Naturalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02415-2
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References found in this work BETA

Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):574-576.
Internal and External Reasons.Bernard Williams - 1979 - In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-113.
Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
The Moral Problem.Stephen Darwall - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185):508-515.

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