Epistemic rationality as instrumental rationality: A critique

Abstract
In this paper, I explore the relationship between epistemic rationality and instrumental rationality, and I attempt to delineate their respective roles in typical instances of theoretical reasoning. My primary concern is with the instrumentalist conception of epistemic rationality: the view that epistemic rationality is simply a species of instrumental rationality, viz. instrumental rationality in the service of one's cognitive or epistemic goals. After sketching the relevance of the instrumentalist conception to debates over naturalism and 'the ethics of belief', I argue that, despite enjoying considerable popularity among both epistemologists and philosophers of science, it is ultimately indefensible. Having thus argued for the distinctness of epistemic and instrumental rationality, I attempt to clarify the role played by each in typical instances of theoretical reasoning. I suggest that being theoretically rational--that is, being proficient with respect to theoretical reasoning--is best construed as a hybrid virtue, inasmuch as it involves manifesting sensitivity to two very different kinds of reasons.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2003.tb00281.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,756
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Warrant: The Current Debate.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

View all 45 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Lying, Risk and Accuracy.Sam Fox Krauss - forthcoming - Analysis:anx105.
Weighing the Aim of Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):395-405.
In Defence of Dogmatism.Luca Moretti - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):261-282.
The Epistemic Force of Perceptual Experience.Susanna Schellenberg - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):87-100.
The Uniqueness Thesis.Matthew Kopec & Michael G. Titelbaum - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (4):189-200.

View all 55 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

435 ( #5,257 of 2,177,831 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

36 ( #7,230 of 2,177,831 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums