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  1. The Disvalue of Knowledge.David Papineau - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5311-5332.
    I argue that the concept of knowledge is a relic of a bygone age, erroneously supposed to do no harm. I illustrate this claim by showing how a concern with knowledge distorts the use of statistical evidence in criminal courts, and then generalize the point to show that this concern hampers our enterprises across the board and not only in legal contexts.
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  • A Kierkegaardian Anti-Luck Epistemology.Tim Black - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (1):85-97.
    We can address the issue of epistemic luck, the possibility that the world interferes with the activity of believing so as to keep that activity from achieving its aim, by rethinking the aim of that activity. So, if we give up truth, for example, as the aim of belief, and if we embrace a different aim—the aim of believing as my ideal self would have me believe—we can eliminate the possibility of luck and leave the world no room to interfere (...)
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  • The Structure of Semantic Norms.Jeffrey Kaplan - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  • Belief Norms & Blindspots.Thomas Raleigh - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):243-269.
    I defend the thesis that beliefs are constitutively normative from two kinds of objection. After clarifying what a “blindspot” proposition is and the different types of blindspots there can be, I show that the existence of such propositions does not undermine the thesis that beliefs are essentially governed by a negative truth norm. I argue that the “normative variance” exhibited by this norm is not a defect. I also argue that if we accept a distinction between subjective and objective norms (...)
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  • The Problem with Descriptive Correctness.Jeffrey Kaplan - 2020 - Ratio 33 (2):79-86.
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, the normativity of meaning was thought to be more-or-less 'incontestable.' But in the last 25 years, many philosophers of mind and language have contested it in several seemingly different ways. This, however, is somewhat illusory. There is an unappreciated commonality among most anti-normativist arguments, and this commonality, I argue, poses a problem for anti-normativism. The result, however, is not a wholesale rejection of anti-normativism. Rather, an insight from the anti-normativist position can be harnessed to (...)
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  • Belief, Correctness and Constitutivity.Davide Fassio - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1084-1106.
    Some philosophers have argued that a standard of correctness is constitutive of the concept or the essence of belief. By this claim they mean, roughly, that a mental state is a belief partially in virtue of being correct if and only if its content is true. In this paper I provide a new argument in support of the constitutivity of the correctness standard for belief. I first argue that the standard expresses a conceptual necessity. Then I argue that, since conceptual (...)
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  • Is Meaning Normative?Anandi Hattiangadi - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (2):220-240.
    Many people claim that semantic content is normative, and that therefore naturalistic theories of content face a potentially insuperable difficulty. The normativity of content allegedly undermines naturalism by introducing a gap between semantic 'ought's and the explanatory resources of naturalism. I argue here that this problem is not ultimately pressing for naturalists. The normativity thesis, I maintain, is ambiguous; it could mean either that the content of a term prescribes a pattern of use, or that it merely determines which pattern (...)
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  • Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
    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 (...)
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  • Normativism and Doxastic Deliberation.Conor McHugh - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (4):447-465.
  • Attitude and Social Rules, or Why It's Okay to Slurp Your Soup.Jeffrey Kaplan - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (28).
    Many of the most important social institutions—e.g., law and language—are thought to be normative in some sense. And philosophers have been puzzled by how this normativity can be explained in terms of the social, descriptive states of affairs that presumably constitute them. This paper attempts to solve this sort of puzzle by considering a simpler and less contentious normative social practice: table manners. Once we are clear on the exact sense in which a practice is normative, we see that some (...)
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  • Truth, Value and Epistemic Expressivism.Michael P. Lynch - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):76-97.
  • Is Logic Distinctively Normative?Ivar Labukt - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):1025-1043.
    Logic is widely held to be a normative discipline. Various claims have been offered in support of this view, but they all revolve around the idea that logic is concerned with how one ought to reason. I argue that most of these claims—while perhaps correct—only entail that logic is normative in a way that many, if not all, intellectual disciplines are normative. I also identify some claims whose correctness would make logic normative in a way that sets it apart from (...)
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  • Conceptual Role Semantics and Rationality.Bradley Rives - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (2):271-289.
    Conceptual role semanticists argue that concepts are individuated in terms of their roles in cognition. Some prominent conceptual role semanticists argue for the further claim that concepts are individuated in terms of their rational roles in cognition. This further claim places substantive normative constraints on concept-constitutive roles. I argue that conceptual role semanticists can and should resist the claim that conceptual roles must be specified in inherently normative terms.
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  • In Defence of Instrumentalism About Epistemic Normativity.Christopher Cowie - 2014 - Synthese 191 (16):4003-4017.
    According to epistemic instrumentalists the normativity of evidence for belief is best explained in terms of the practical utility of forming evidentially supported beliefs. Traditional arguments for instrumentalism—arguments based on naturalism and motivation—lack suasive force against opponents. A new argument for the view—the Argument from Coincidence—is presented. The argument shows that only instrumentalists can avoid positing an embarrassing coincidence between the practical value of believing in accordance with one’s evidence, and the existence of reasons so to believe. Responses are considered (...)
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  • Dynamics, Brandom-Style.Bernhard Nickel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):333-354.
    Abstract This paper discusses the semantic theory presented in Robert Brandom’s Making It Explicit . I argue that it is best understood as a special version of dynamic semantics, so that these semantics by themselves offer an interesting theoretical alternative to more standard truth-conditional theories. This reorientation also has implications for more foundational issues. I argue that it gives us the resources for a renewed argument for the normativity of meaning. The paper ends by critically assessing the view in both (...)
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  • Norms of Intentionality: Norms That Don’T Guide.Benjamin Jarvis - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):1-25.
    More than ever, it is in vogue to argue that no norms either play a role in or directly follow from the theory of mental content. In this paper, I present an intuitive theory of intentionality (including a theory of mental content) on which norms are constitutive of the intentional properties of attitude and content in order to show that this trend is misguided. Although this theory of intentionality—the teleological theory of intentional representation—does involve a commitment to representational norms, these (...)
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  • Naturalizing the Human or Humanizing Nature: Science, Nature and the Supernatural.David Macarthur - 2004 - Erkenntnis 61 (1):29-51.
    The present paper challenges the narrow scientistic conception of Nature that underlies current projects of naturalization involving, say, evaluative or intentional discourse. It is more plausible to hold that science provides only a partial characterization of the natural world. I consider McDowell's articulation of a more liberal naturalism, one which recognizes autonomous normative facts about reasons, meanings and values, as genuine constituents of Nature on a more liberal conception of it. Several critics have claimed that this account is vitiated by (...)
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  • Two Types of Epistemic Instrumentalism.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5455-5475.
    Epistemic instrumentalism views epistemic norms and epistemic normativity as essentially involving the instrumental relation between means and ends. It construes notions like epistemic normativity, norms, and rationality, as forms of instrumental or means-end normativity, norms, and rationality. I do two main things in this paper. In part 1, I argue that there is an under-appreciated distinction between two independent types of epistemic instrumentalism. These are instrumentalism about epistemic norms and instrumentalism about epistemic normativity. In part 2, I argue that this (...)
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  • Conventional Norms of Reasoning.Adam Morton - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (2):247-260.
    I describe conventions not of correct reasoning but of giving and taking advice about reasoning. This article is asn anticipation of part of the first chapter of my forthcoming *Bounded Thinking*, OUP 2012.
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  • Commentary/Elqayam & Evans: Subtracting “Ought” From “Is”.Natalie Gold, Andrew M. Colman & Briony D. Pulford - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5).
    Normative theories can be useful in developing descriptive theories, as when normative subjective expected utility theory is used to develop descriptive rational choice theory and behavioral game theory. “Ought” questions are also the essence of theories of moral reasoning, a domain of higher mental processing that could not survive without normative considerations.
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  • Expressivism and Convention-Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In A. Fairweather & O. Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press.
    Consider the claim that openmindedness is an epistemic virtue, the claim that true belief is epistemically valuable, and the claim that one epistemically ought to cleave to one’s evidence. These are examples of what I’ll call “ epistemic discourse.” In this paper I’ll propose and defend a view called “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse.” In particular, I’ll argue that convention-relativismis superior to its main rival, expressivism about epistemic discourse. Expressivism and conventionalism both jibe with anti-realism about epistemic normativity, which is motivated (...)
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  • Judging and the Scope of Mental Agency.Fabian Dorsch - 2009 - In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental Actions. Oxford University Press. pp. 38-71.
    What is the scope of our conscious mental agency, and how do we acquire self-knowledge of it? Both questions are addressed through an investigation of what best explains our inability to form judgemental thoughts in direct response to practical reasons. Contrary to what Williams and others have argued, it cannot be their subjection to a truth norm, given that our failure to adhere to such a norm need not undermine their status as judgemental. Instead, it is argued that we cannot (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism, Permissibility, and Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press. pp. 260-280.
    Epistemic instrumentalists seek to understand the normativity of epistemic norms on the model practical instrumental norms governing the relation between aims and means. Non-instrumentalists often object that this commits instrumentalists to implausible epistemic assessments. I argue that this objection presupposes an implausibly strong interpretation of epistemic norms. Once we realize that epistemic norms should be understood in terms of permissibility rather than obligation, and that evidence only occasionally provide normative reasons for belief, an instrumentalist account becomes available that delivers the (...)
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  • Liberal Naturalism and the Scientific Image of the World.David Macarthur - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (5):565-585.
    ABSTRACTThis paper distinguishes between the theoretical scientific image and the practical scientific image. The popular idea that there is a conceptual clash between the scientific and manifest images of the world is revealed as largely illusory. From the perspective of a liberal naturalism, the placement problem for ‘problematic’ entities or truths is not solved but dissolved. Persons, say, are not posits of any explanatory science, but beings acknowledged as rational agencies in second-personal space. Core elements of the manifest image are (...)
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  • Biological Function and Epistemic Normativity.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):94-110.
    I give a biological account of epistemic normativity. My account explains the sense in which it is true that belief is subject to a standard of correctness, and reduces epistemic norms to there being doxastic strategies which guide how best to meet that standard. Additionally, I give an explanation of the mistakes we make in our epistemic discourse, understood as either taking epistemic properties and norms to be sui generis and irreducible, and/or as failing to recognize the reductive base of (...)
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  • I—Meaning, Understanding and Normativity.Hannah Ginsborg - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):127-146.
    I defend the normativity of meaning against recent objections by arguing for a new interpretation of the ‘ought’ relevant to meaning. Both critics and defenders of the normativity thesis have understood statements about how an expression ought to be used as either prescriptive or semantic. I propose an alternative view of the ‘ought’ as conveying the primitively normative attitudes speakers must adopt towards their uses if they are to use the expression with understanding.
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  • Truth, Value, and Epistemic Expressivism.Michael P. Lynch - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):76-97.
  • Epistemic Subjectivism.Roger White - 2007 - Episteme 4 (1):115-129.
    Epistemic subjectivism, as I am using the term, is a view in the same spirit as relativism, rooted in skepticism about the objectivity or universality of epistemic norms. I explore some ways that we might motivate subjectivism drawing from some common themes in analytic epistemology. Without diagnosing where the arguments go wrong, I argue that the resulting position is untenable.
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  • Why Believe the Truth? Shah and Velleman on the Aim of Belief.José L. Zalabardo - 2010 - Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):1 - 21.
    The subject matter of this paper is the view that it is correct, in an absolute sense, to believe a proposition just in case the proposition is true. I take issue with arguments in support of this view put forward by Nishi Shah and David Velleman.
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  • Judging as a Non-Voluntary Action.Conor McHugh - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):245 - 269.
    Many philosophers categorise judgment as a type of action. On the face of it, this claim is at odds with the seeming fact that judging a certain proposition is not something you can do voluntarily. I argue that we can resolve this tension by recognising a category of non-voluntary action. An action can be non-voluntary without being involuntary. The notion of non-voluntary action is developed by appeal to the claim that judging has truth as a constitutive goal. This claim, when (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    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 (...)
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  • I—Doxastic Correctness.Pascal Engel - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):199-216.
    Normative accounts of the correctness of belief have often been misconstrued. The norm of truth for belief is a constitutive norm which regulates our beliefs through ideals of reason. I try to show that this kind of account can meet some of the main objections which have been raised against normativism about belief: that epistemic reasons enjoy no exclusivity, that the norm of truth does not guide, and that normativism cannot account for suspension of judgement.
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  • The Normativity of Meaning.Alan Millar - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 51:57-73.
    In a discussion of rule-following inspired by Wittgenstein, Kripke asks us to consider the relation which holds between meaning plus by ‘+’ and answering questions like, ‘What is the sum of 68 and 57?’. A dispositional theory has it that if you mean plus by ‘+’ then you will probably answer, ‘125’. That is because, according to such a theory, to mean plus by ‘+’ is, roughly speaking, to be disposed, by and large, and among other things, to answer such (...)
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  • Epistemic Normativity From the Reasoner's Viewpoint.Joëlle Proust - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5):265-265.
    Elqayam & Evans (E&E) are focused on the normative judgments used by theorists to characterize subjects' performances (e.g. in terms of logic or probability theory). They ignore the fact, however, that subjects themselves have an independent ability to evaluate their own reasoning performance, and that this ability plays a major role in controlling their first-order reasoning tasks.
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