Epistemic utility theory’s difficult future

Synthese 199 (3-4):7401-7421 (2021)
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Abstract

According to epistemic utility theory, epistemic rationality is teleological: epistemic norms are instrumental norms that have the aim of acquiring accuracy. What’s definitive of these norms is that they can be expected to lead to the acquisition of accuracy when followed. While there’s much to be said in favor of this approach, it turns out that it faces a couple of worrisome extensional problems involving the future. The first problem involves credences about the future, and the second problem involves future credences. Examining prominent solutions to a different extensional problem for this approach reinforces the severity of the two problems involving the future. Reflecting on these problems reveals the source: the teleological assumption that epistemic rationality aims at acquiring accuracy.

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Author's Profile

Chad Marxen
Brown University

Citations of this work

Integrating Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 14 (2):1-18.

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References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.
A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism.James M. Joyce - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.

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