Epistemic Utility Theory and the Aim of Belief

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):511-534 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

How should rational believers pursue the aim of truth? Epistemic utility theorists have argued that by combining the tools of decision theory with an epistemic form of value—gradational accuracy, proximity to the truth—we can justify various epistemological norms. I argue that deriving these results requires using decision rules that are different in important respects from those used in standard (practical) decision theory. If we use the more familiar decision rules, we can’t justify the epistemic coherence norms that epistemic utility theory had hoped to justify. In short, those of us who are attracted to the project of epistemic utility theory face a dilemma. If we choose “consequentialist” rules, then we can vindicate the idea that rational belief has the aim of accuracy—but at the cost of giving up attractive epistemic norms.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,703

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Epistemic Value and the Jamesian Goals.Sophie Horowitz - 2017 - In Jeffrey Dunn Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
An Improper Introduction to Epistemic utility theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2011 - In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Proceedings of EPSA: Amsterdam '09. Springer. pp. 287--301.
Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
Epistemic Consequentialism.Philip Percival - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76 (1):121–151.
The Right in the Good: A Defense of Teleological Non-Consequentialism in Epistemology.Clayton Littlejohn - 2018 - In Jeff Dunn & Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press. pp. 23-47.
Epistemic consequentialism.Robert Stalnaker - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76 (1):153–168.
Epistemic Expansions.Jennifer Carr - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):217-236.
Disagreement and Epistemic Utility-Based Compromise.Julia Staffel - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (3):273-286.
Can the aim of belief ground epistemic normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
Who Cares What You Accurately Believe?Clayton Littlejohn - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):217-248.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-09-12

Downloads
212 (#84,741)

6 months
33 (#89,852)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jennifer Rose Carr
University of California, San Diego

References found in this work

What is Justified Belief?Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.

View all 35 references / Add more references