Philip Percival
Nottingham University
[Philip Percival] I aim to illuminate foundational epistemological issues by reflecting on 'epistemic consequentialism'-the epistemic analogue of ethical consequentialism. Epistemic consequentialism employs a concept of cognitive value playing a role in epistemic norms governing belief-like states that is analogous to the role goodness plays in act-governing moral norms. A distinction between 'direct' and 'indirect' versions of epistemic consequentialism is held to be as important as the familiar ethical distinction on which it is based. These versions are illustrated, respectively, by cognitive decision-theory and reliabilism. Cognitive decision-theory is defended, and various conceptual issues concerning it explored. A simple dilemma suggests that epistemic consequentialism has radical consequences. /// [Robert Stalnaker] After reviewing the general ideas of the consequentialist framework, I take a critical look at two of the epistemic consequentialist projects that Philip Percival considers in his paper: the first assumes that there is a notion of acceptance that contrasts with belief and that can be evaluated by its expected epistemic utility. The second uses epis utility to evaluate beliefs and partial beliefs themselves, as well as actions, such as gathering information in the course of an inquiry. I express scepticism about the notion of acceptance required for the first project, and argue that the second kind of project can be fruitful only with a richer notion of epistemic utility than has yet been developed
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1467-8349.00092
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,436
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.
Entitlement and Rationality.C. S. Jenkins - 2007 - Synthese 157 (1):25-45.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

An Improper Introduction to Epistemic Utility Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2011 - In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Proceedings of EPSA: Amsterdam '09. Springer. pp. 287--301.
Epistemic Responsibility Without Epistemic Agency.Pascal Engel - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):205 – 219.
7 Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - 2011 - In Christian Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. pp. 143.


Added to PP index

Total views
127 ( #93,374 of 2,520,361 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #270,555 of 2,520,361 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes