In defence of instrumentalism about epistemic normativity

Synthese 191 (16):4003-4017 (2014)
Authors
Christopher Cowie
Cambridge University
Abstract
According to epistemic instrumentalists the normativity of evidence for belief is best explained in terms of the practical utility of forming evidentially supported beliefs. Traditional arguments for instrumentalism—arguments based on naturalism and motivation—lack suasive force against opponents. A new argument for the view—the Argument from Coincidence—is presented. The argument shows that only instrumentalists can avoid positing an embarrassing coincidence between the practical value of believing in accordance with one’s evidence, and the existence of reasons so to believe. Responses are considered and shown to be inadequate.
Keywords Epistemic normativity  Instrumentalism  Practical reasons
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0510-6
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
The Possibility of Practical Reason.David Velleman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Pain for the Moral Error Theory? A New Companions-in-Guilt Argument.Guy Fletcher - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):474-482.
Teleological Epistemology.Jane Friedman - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-19.

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