Synthese 191 (16):4003-4017 (2014)

Christopher Cowie
Cambridge University
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 and shown to be inadequate.
Keywords Epistemic normativity  Instrumentalism  Practical reasons
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0510-6
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Being Realistic About Reasons.T. M. Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
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The Epistemic and the Zetetic.Jane Friedman - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (4):501-536.
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