Epistemic instrumentalism and the reason to believe in accord with the evidence

Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809 (2018)
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Abstract

Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate a heretofore neglected solution on behalf of instrumentalism.

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Nathaniel Sharadin
University of Hong Kong

Citations of this work

The Epistemic and the Zetetic.Jane Friedman - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (4):501-536.
In Defense of Constitutivism About Epistemic Normativity.David Horst - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):232-258.
Teleological epistemology.Jane Friedman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):673-691.
The Case for Stance Dependent Reasons.David Sobel - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).

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References found in this work

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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