In defence of instrumentalism about epistemic normativity

Synthese 191 (16):4003-4017 (2014)
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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.

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Christopher Cowie
Cambridge University

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Slaves of the passions.Mark Andrew Schroeder - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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