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Jennifer Rose Carr
University of California, San Diego
  1. Epistemic Utility Theory and the Aim of Belief.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):511-534.
    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 (...)
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    Imprecise Evidence Without Imprecise Credences.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2735-2758.
    Does rationality require imprecise credences? Many hold that it does: imprecise evidence requires correspondingly imprecise credences. I argue that this is false. The imprecise view faces the same arbitrariness worries that were meant to motivate it in the first place. It faces these worries because it incorporates a certain idealization. But doing away with this idealization effectively collapses the imprecise view into a particular kind of precise view. On this alternative, our attitudes should reflect a kind of normative uncertainty: uncertainty (...)
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  3. Epistemic Expansions.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):217-236.
    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 (...)
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  4. Normative Uncertainty Without Theories.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2020 - Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):747-762.
    Volume 98, Issue 4, December 2020, Page 747-762.
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  5. Subjective Ought.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
    The subjective deontic "ought" generates counterexamples to classical inference rules like modus ponens. It also conflicts with the orthodox view about modals and conditionals in natural language semantics. Most accounts of the subjective ought build substantive and unattractive normative assumptions into the semantics of the modal. I sketch a general semantic account, along with a metasemantic story about the context sensitivity of information-sensitive operators.
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  6. Why Ideal Epistemology?Jennifer Rose Carr - forthcoming - Mind:fzab023.
    Ideal epistemologists investigate the nature of pure epistemic rationality, abstracting away from human cognitive limitations. Non-ideal epistemologists investigate epistemic norms that are satisfiable by most humans, most of the time. Ideal epistemology faces a number of challenges, aimed at both its substantive commitments and its philosophical worth. This paper explains the relation between ideal and non-ideal epistemology, with the aim of justifying ideal epistemology. Its approach is meta-epistemological, focusing on the meaning and purpose of epistemic evaluations. I provide an account (...)
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    A Modesty Proposal.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3581-3601.
    Accuracy-first epistemology aims to show that the norms of epistemic rationality can be derived from the effective pursuit of accuracy. This paper explores the prospects within accuracy-first epistemology for vindicating “modesty”: the thesis that ideal rationality permits uncertainty about one’s own rationality. I argue that accuracy-first epistemology faces serious challenges in accommodating three forms of modesty: uncertainty about what priors are rational, uncertainty about whether one’s update policy is rational, and uncertainty about what one’s evidence is. I argue that the (...)
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  8. Don’T Stop Believing.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):744-766.
    It’s been argued that there are no diachronic norms of epistemic rationality. These arguments come partly in response to certain kinds of counterexamples to Conditionalization, but are mainly motivated by a form of internalism that appears to be in tension with any sort of diachronic coherence requirements. I argue that there are, in fact, fundamentally diachronic norms of rationality. And this is to reject at least a strong version of internalism. But I suggest a replacement for Conditionalization that salvages internalist (...)
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    Subjective Probability and the Content/Attitude Distinction.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    On an attractive, naturalistically respectable theory of intentionality, mental contents are a form of measurement system for representing behavioral and psychological dispositions. This chapter argues that a consequence of this view is that the content/attitude distinction is measurement system relative. As a result, there is substantial arbitrariness in the content/attitude distinction. Whether some measurement of mental states counts as characterizing the content of mental states or the attitude is not a question of empirical discovery but of theoretical utility. If correct, (...)
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    The Hard Problem of Intertheoretic Comparisons.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1401-1427.
    Metanormativists hold that moral uncertainty can affect how we ought, in some morally authoritative sense, to act. Many metanormativists aim to generalize expected utility theory for normative uncertainty. Such accounts face the “easy problem of intertheoretic comparisons”: the worry that distinct theories’ assessments of choiceworthiness are incomparable. The easy problem may well be resolvable, but another problem looms: while some moral theories assign cardinal degrees of choiceworthiness, other theories’ choiceworthiness assignments are merely ordinal. Expected choiceworthiness over such theories is undefined. (...)
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