A New Epistemic Utility Argument for the Principal Principle

Episteme 10 (1):19-35 (2013)
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Abstract

Jim Joyce has presented an argument for Probabilism based on considerations of epistemic utility [Joyce, 1998]. In a recent paper, I adapted this argument to give an argument for Probablism and the Principal Principle based on similar considerations [Pettigrew, 2012]. Joyce’s argument assumes that a credence in a true proposition is better the closer it is to maximal credence, whilst a credence in a false proposition is better the closer it is to minimal credence. By contrast, my argument in that paper assumed (roughly) that a credence in a proposition is better the closer it is to the objective chance of that proposition. In this paper, I present an epistemic utility argument for Probabilism and the Principal Principle that retains Joyce’s assumption rather than the alternative I endorsed in the earlier paper. I argue that this results in a superior argument for these norms.

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Richard Pettigrew
Bristol University

Citations of this work

Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
What is Justified Credence?Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Episteme 18 (1):16-30.
Accuracy, Risk, and the Principle of Indifference.Richard G. Pettigrew - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):35-59.
Immoderately Rational.Sophie Horowitz - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):41-56.

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References found in this work

Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
A Subjectivist’s Guide to Objective Chance.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Richard C. Jeffrey (ed.), Studies in Inductive Logic and Probability, Volume II. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 263-293.
A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism.James M. Joyce - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.

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