Philosophical Studies 176 (3):673-691 (2019)

Jane Friedman
New York University
It is typically thought that some epistemic states are valuable—knowing, truly or accurately believing, understanding. These are states it’s thought good to be in and it’s also said that we aim or want to be in them. It is then sometimes claimed that these sorts of thoughts about epistemic goods or values ground or explain our epistemic norms. For instance, we think subjects should follow their evidence when they form their beliefs. But why should they? Why not believe against the evidence or ignore it completely in deciding what to believe? Here’s a compelling sort of answer: because epistemic subjects are or ought to be trying to know more and following their evidence is a means to that end or to fulfilling that obligation. In this paper I argue that this compelling thought cannot be right. Subjects who are trying to know more will regularly fail to conform to some of our most familiar epistemic norms.
Keywords teleological norms  epistemic consequentialism  epistemic instrumentalism  epistemic value  epistemic normativity
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1033-7
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References found in this work BETA

Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
The Theory of Epistemic Rationality.Richard Foley - 1987 - Harvard University Press.
A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism.James M. Joyce - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.

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Inquiry and the Epistemic.David Thorstad - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-16.

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