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Miriam Schoenfield
University of Texas at Austin
  1. Dilating and Contracting Arbitrarily.David Builes, Sophie Horowitz & Miriam Schoenfield - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Standard accuracy-based approaches to imprecise credences have the consequence that it is rational to move between precise and imprecise credences arbitrarily, without gaining any new evidence. Building on the Educated Guessing Framework of Horowitz (2019), we develop an alternative accuracy-based approach to imprecise credences that does not have this shortcoming. We argue that it is always irrational to move from a precise state to an imprecise state arbitrarily, however it can be rational to move from an imprecise state to a (...)
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  2. Permission to Believe: Why Permissivism Is True and What It Tells Us About Irrelevant Influences on Belief.Miriam Schoenfield - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):193-218.
    In this paper, I begin by defending permissivism: the claim that, sometimes, there is more than one way to rationally respond to a given body of evidence. Then I argue that, if we accept permissivism, certain worries that arise as a result of learning that our beliefs were caused by the communities we grew up in, the schools we went to, or other irrelevant influences dissipate. The basic strategy is as follows: First, I try to pinpoint what makes irrelevant influences (...)
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  3. Bridging Rationality and Accuracy.Miriam Schoenfield - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (12):633-657.
    This paper is about the connection between rationality and accuracy. I show that one natural picture about how rationality and accuracy are connected emerges if we assume that rational agents are rationally omniscient. I then develop an alternative picture that allows us to relax this assumption, in order to accommodate certain views about higher order evidence.
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  4. Conditionalization Does Not Maximize Expected Accuracy.Miriam Schoenfield - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1155-1187.
    Greaves and Wallace argue that conditionalization maximizes expected accuracy. In this paper I show that their result only applies to a restricted range of cases. I then show that the update procedure that maximizes expected accuracy in general is one in which, upon learning P, we conditionalize, not on P, but on the proposition that we learned P. After proving this result, I provide further generalizations and show that much of the accuracy-first epistemology program is committed to KK-like iteration principles (...)
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  5. A Dilemma for Calibrationism.Miriam Schoenfield - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):425-455.
    The aim of this paper is to describe a problem for calibrationism: a view about higher order evidence according to which one's credences should be calibrated to one's expected degree of reliability. Calibrationism is attractive, in part, because it explains our intuitive judgments, and provides a strong motivation for certain theories about higher order evidence and peer disagreement. However, I will argue that calibrationism faces a dilemma: There are two versions of the view one might adopt. The first version, I (...)
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  6. The Accuracy and Rationality of Imprecise Credences.Miriam Schoenfield - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):667-685.
    It has been claimed that, in response to certain kinds of evidence, agents ought to adopt imprecise credences: doxastic states that are represented by sets of credence functions rather than single ones. In this paper I argue that, given some plausible constraints on accuracy measures, accuracy-centered epistemologists must reject the requirement to adopt imprecise credences. I then show that even the claim that imprecise credences are permitted is problematic for accuracy-centered epistemology. It follows that if imprecise credal states are permitted (...)
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  7. An Accuracy Based Approach to Higher Order Evidence.Miriam Schoenfield - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3):690-715.
    The aim of this paper is to apply the accuracy based approach to epistemology to the case of higher order evidence: evidence that bears on the rationality of one's beliefs. I proceed in two stages. First, I show that the accuracy based framework that is standardly used to motivate rational requirements supports steadfastness—a position according to which higher order evidence should have no impact on one's doxastic attitudes towards first order propositions. The argument for this will require a generalization of (...)
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  8. Moral Vagueness Is Ontic Vagueness.Miriam Schoenfield - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):257-282.
    The aim of this essay is to argue that, if a robust form of moral realism is true, then moral vagueness is ontic vagueness. The argument is by elimination: I show that neither semantic nor epistemic approaches to moral vagueness are satisfactory.
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  9. Permissivism and the Value of Rationality: A Challenge to the Uniqueness Thesis.Miriam Schoenfield - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (2):286-297.
    In recent years, permissivism—the claim that a body of evidence can rationalize more than one response—has enjoyed somewhat of a revival. But it is once again being threatened, this time by a host of new and interesting arguments that, at their core, are challenging the permissivist to explain why rationality matters. A version of the challenge that I am especially interested in is this: if permissivism is true, why should we expect the rational credences to be more accurate than the (...)
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  10. Chilling Out on Epistemic Rationality: A Defense of Imprecise Credences.Miriam Schoenfield - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):197-219.
    A defense of imprecise credences (and other imprecise doxastic attitudes).
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  11. Internalism Without Luminosity.Miriam Schoenfield - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):252-272.
    Internalists face the following challenge: what is it about an agent's internal states that explains why only these states can play whatever role the internalist thinks these states are playing? Internalists have frequently appealed to a special kind of epistemic access that we have to these states. But such claims have been challenged on both empirical and philosophical grounds. I will argue that internalists needn't appeal to any kind of privileged access claims. Rather, internalist conditions are important because of the (...)
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    Decision Making in the Face of Parity.Miriam Schoenfield - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):263-277.
    Abstract: This paper defends a constraint that any satisfactory decision theory must satisfy. I show how this constraint is violated by all of the decision theories that have been endorsed in the literature that are designed to deal with cases in which opinions or values are represented by a set of functions rather than a single one. Such a decision theory is necessary to account for the existence of what Ruth Chang has called “parity” (as well as for cases in (...)
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    Accuracy and Verisimilitude: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.Miriam Schoenfield - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    It seems like we care about at least two features of our credence function: gradational-accuracy and verisimilitude. Accuracy-first epistemology requires that we care about one feature of our credence function: gradational-accuracy. So if you want to be a verisimilitude-valuing accuracy-firster, you must be able to think of the value of verisimilitude as somehow built into the value of gradational-accuracy. Can this be done? In a recent article, Oddie has argued that it cannot, at least if we want the accuracy measure (...)
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