Epistemic Expansions

Res Philosophica 92 (2):217-236 (2015)


Epistemology should take seriously the possibility of rationally evaluable changes in conceptual resources. Epistemic decision theory compares belief states in terms of epistemic value. But it's standardly restricted to belief states that don't differ in their conceptual resources. I argue that epistemic decision theory should be generalized to make belief states with differing concepts comparable. I characterize some possible constraints on epistemic utility functions. Traditionally, the epistemic utility of a total belief state has been understood as a function of the epistemic utility of individual (partial) beliefs. The most natural ways of generalizing this account generate a kind of repugnant conclusion. I characterize some possible alternatives, reflecting different epistemic norms.

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Jennifer Rose Carr
University of California, San Diego

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
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Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Transformative Experience.Laurie Ann Paul - 2014 - Oxford University Press.

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