Mind 128 (509):175-211 (2019)

Authors
Kevin Dorst
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
The Lockean Thesis says that you must believe p iff you’re sufficiently confident of it. On some versions, the 'must' asserts a metaphysical connection; on others, it asserts a normative one. On some versions, 'sufficiently confident' refers to a fixed threshold of credence; on others, it varies with proposition and context. Claim: the Lockean Thesis follows from epistemic utility theory—the view that rational requirements are constrained by the norm to promote accuracy. Different versions of this theory generate different versions of Lockeanism; moreover, a plausible version of epistemic utility theory meshes with natural language considerations, yielding a new Lockean picture that helps to model and explain the role of beliefs in inquiry and conversation. Your beliefs are your best guesses in response to the epistemic priorities of your context. Upshot: we have a new approach to the epistemology and semantics of belief. And it has teeth. It implies that the role of beliefs is fundamentally different than many have thought, and in fact supports a metaphysical reduction of belief to credence.
Keywords The Lockean Thesis  epistemic utility theory  belief-credence connection  belief-ascriptions
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Reprint years 2017, 2019
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzx028
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References found in this work BETA

Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
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Citations of this work BETA

Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
Epistemic Consequentialism. [REVIEW]Kevin Dorst - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (3):484-489.
Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

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