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Richard Pettigrew [83]Richard G. Pettigrew [2]
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Richard Pettigrew
University of Bristol
  1. Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - New York, NY.: Oxford University Press UK.
    Richard Pettigrew offers an extended investigation into a particular way of justifying the rational principles that govern our credences. The main principles that he justifies are the central tenets of Bayesian epistemology, though many other related principles are discussed along the way. Pettigrew looks to decision theory in order to ground his argument. He treats an agent's credences as if they were a choice she makes between different options, gives an account of the purely epistemic utility enjoyed by different sets (...)
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  2. An Accuracy‐Dominance Argument for Conditionalization.R. A. Briggs & Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - Noûs 54 (1):162-181.
    Epistemic decision theorists aim to justify Bayesian norms by arguing that these norms further the goal of epistemic accuracy—having beliefs that are as close as possible to the truth. The standard defense of Probabilism appeals to accuracy dominance: for every belief state that violates the probability calculus, there is some probabilistic belief state that is more accurate, come what may. The standard defense of Conditionalization, on the other hand, appeals to expected accuracy: before the evidence is in, one should expect (...)
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  3. An Objective Justification of Bayesianism II: The Consequences of Minimizing Inaccuracy.Hannes Leitgeb & Richard Pettigrew - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):236-272.
    One of the fundamental problems of epistemology is to say when the evidence in an agent’s possession justifies the beliefs she holds. In this paper and its prequel, we defend the Bayesian solution to this problem by appealing to the following fundamental norm: Accuracy An epistemic agent ought to minimize the inaccuracy of her partial beliefs. In the prequel, we made this norm mathematically precise; in this paper, we derive its consequences. We show that the two core tenets of Bayesianism (...)
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  4. Choosing for Changing Selves.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What we value, like, endorse, want, and prefer changes over the course of our lives. Richard Pettigrew presents a theory of rational decision making for agents who recognise that their values will change over time and whose decisions will affect those future times.
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  5. Accuracy, Risk, and the Principle of Indifference.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):35-59.
    In Bayesian epistemology, the problem of the priors is this: How should we set our credences (or degrees of belief) in the absence of evidence? That is, how should we set our prior or initial credences, the credences with which we begin our credal life? David Lewis liked to call an agent at the beginning of her credal journey a superbaby. The problem of the priors asks for the norms that govern these superbabies. -/- The Principle of Indifference gives a (...)
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  6. What is justified credence?Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Episteme 18 (1):16-30.
    In this paper, we seek a reliabilist account of justified credence. Reliabilism about justified beliefs comes in two varieties: process reliabilism (Goldman, 1979, 2008) and indicator reliabilism (Alston, 1988, 2005). Existing accounts of reliabilism about justified credence comes in the same two varieties: Jeff Dunn (2015) proposes a version of process reliabilism, while Weng Hong Tang (2016) offers a version of indicator reliabilism. As we will see, both face the same objection. If they are right about what justification is, it (...)
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  7. Logical ignorance and logical learning.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9991-10020.
    According to certain normative theories in epistemology, rationality requires us to be logically omniscient. Yet this prescription clashes with our ordinary judgments of rationality. How should we resolve this tension? In this paper, I focus particularly on the logical omniscience requirement in Bayesian epistemology. Building on a key insight by Hacking :311–325, 1967), I develop a version of Bayesianism that permits logical ignorance. This includes: an account of the synchronic norms that govern a logically ignorant individual at any given time; (...)
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  8. What is conditionalization, and why should we do it?Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3427-3463.
    Conditionalization is one of the central norms of Bayesian epistemology. But there are a number of competing formulations, and a number of arguments that purport to establish it. In this paper, I explore which formulations of the norm are supported by which arguments. In their standard formulations, each of the arguments I consider here depends on the same assumption, which I call Deterministic Updating. I will investigate whether it is possible to amend these arguments so that they no longer depend (...)
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  9. An Objective Justification of Bayesianism I: Measuring Inaccuracy.Hannes Leitgeb & Richard Pettigrew - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):201-235.
    One of the fundamental problems of epistemology is to say when the evidence in an agent’s possession justifies the beliefs she holds. In this paper and its sequel, we defend the Bayesian solution to this problem by appealing to the following fundamental norm: Accuracy An epistemic agent ought to minimize the inaccuracy of her partial beliefs. In this paper, we make this norm mathematically precise in various ways. We describe three epistemic dilemmas that an agent might face if she attempts (...)
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  10. Veritism, Epistemic Risk, and the Swamping Problem.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):761-774.
    Veritism says that the fundamental source of epistemic value for a doxastic state is the extent to which it represents the world correctly: that is, its fundamental epistemic value is deter...
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  11. Epistemic Utility and Norms for Credences.Richard Pettigrew - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):897-908.
    Beliefs come in different strengths. An agent's credence in a proposition is a measure of the strength of her belief in that proposition. Various norms for credences have been proposed. Traditionally, philosophers have tried to argue for these norms by showing that any agent who violates them will be lead by her credences to make bad decisions. In this article, we survey a new strategy for justifying these norms. The strategy begins by identifying an epistemic utility function and a decision-theoretic (...)
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  12. Jamesian epistemology formalised: An explication of ‘the will to believe’.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Episteme 13 (3):253-268.
    Famously, William James held that there are two commandments that govern our epistemic life: Believe truth! Shun error! In this paper, I give a formal account of James' claim using the tools of epistemic utility theory. I begin by giving the account for categorical doxastic states – that is, full belief, full disbelief, and suspension of judgment. Then I will show how the account plays out for graded doxastic states – that is, credences. The latter part of the paper thus (...)
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  13. Identity and discernibility in philosophy and logic.James Ladyman, Øystein Linnebo & Richard Pettigrew - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):162-186.
    Questions about the relation between identity and discernibility are important both in philosophy and in model theory. We show how a philosophical question about identity and dis- cernibility can be ‘factorized’ into a philosophical question about the adequacy of a formal language to the description of the world, and a mathematical question about discernibility in this language. We provide formal definitions of various notions of discernibility and offer a complete classification of their logical relations. Some new and surprising facts are (...)
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  14. On the Expected Utility Objection to the Dutch Book Argument for Probabilism.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Noûs (1):23-38.
    The Dutch Book Argument for Probabilism assumes Ramsey's Thesis (RT), which purports to determine the prices an agent is rationally required to pay for a bet. Recently, a new objection to Ramsey's Thesis has emerged (Hedden 2013, Wronski & Godziszewski 2017, Wronski 2018)--I call this the Expected Utility Objection. According to this objection, it is Maximise Subjective Expected Utility (MSEU) that determines the prices an agent is required to pay for a bet, and this often disagrees with Ramsey's Thesis. I (...)
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  15. Transformative Experience and Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):766-774.
    This paper is part of a book symposium for L. A. Paul (2014) Transformative Experience (OUP).
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  16. The Population Ethics of Belief: In Search of an Epistemic Theory X.Richard Pettigrew - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):336-372.
    Consider Phoebe and Daphne. Phoebe has credences in 1 million propositions. Daphne, on the other hand, has credences in all of these propositions, but she's also got credences in 999 million other propositions. Phoebe's credences are all very accurate. Each of Daphne's credences, in contrast, are not very accurate at all; each is a little more accurate than it is inaccurate, but not by much. Whose doxastic state is better, Phoebe's or Daphne's? It is clear that this question is analogous (...)
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  17.  52
    The Principal Principle Does Not Imply the Principle of Indifference.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):605-619.
    In a recent paper in this journal, James Hawthorne, Jürgen Landes, Christian Wallmann, and Jon Williamson argue that the principal principle entails the principle of indifference. In this article, I argue that it does not. Lewis’s version of the principal principle notoriously depends on a notion of admissibility, which Lewis uses to restrict its application. HLWW base their argument on certain intuitions concerning when one proposition is admissible for another: Conditions 1 and 2. There are two ways of reading their (...)
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  18.  78
    Accuracy and Evidence.Richard Pettigrew - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):579-596.
    In “A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism”, Jim Joyce argues that our credences should obey the axioms of the probability calculus by showing that, if they don't, there will be alternative credences that are guaranteed to be more accurate than ours. But it seems that accuracy is not the only goal of credences: there is also the goal of matching one's credences to one's evidence. I will consider four ways in which we might make this latter goal precise: on the first, (...)
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  19. Epistemic Utility and the Normativity of Logic.Richard Pettigrew - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (4):455-492.
    How does logic relate to rational belief? Is logic normative for belief, as some say? What, if anything, do facts about logical consequence tell us about norms of doxastic rationality? In this paper, we consider a range of putative logic-rationality bridge principles. These purport to relate facts about logical consequence to norms that govern the rationality of our beliefs and credences. To investigate these principles, we deploy a novel approach, namely, epistemic utility theory. That is, we assume that doxastic attitudes (...)
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  20. Accuracy, Chance, and the Principal Principle.Richard Pettigrew - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (2):241-275.
    In ‘A Non-Pragmatic Vindication of Probabilism’, Jim Joyce attempts to ‘depragmatize’ de Finetti’s prevision argument for the claim that our partial beliefs ought to satisfy the axioms of probability calculus. In this paper, I adapt Joyce’s argument to give a non-pragmatic vindication of various versions of David Lewis’ Principal Principle, such as the version based on Isaac Levi's account of admissibility, Michael Thau and Ned Hall's New Principle, and Jenann Ismael's Generalized Principal Principle. Joyce enumerates properties that must be had (...)
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  21. On the pragmatic and epistemic virtues of inference to the best explanation.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12407-12438.
    In a series of papers over the past twenty years, and in a new book, Igor Douven has argued that Bayesians are too quick to reject versions of inference to the best explanation that cannot be accommodated within their framework. In this paper, I survey their worries and attempt to answer them using a series of pragmatic and purely epistemic arguments that I take to show that Bayes’ Rule really is the only rational way to respond to your evidence.
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  22. Category theory as an autonomous foundation.Øystein Linnebo & Richard Pettigrew - 2011 - Philosophia Mathematica 19 (3):227-254.
    Does category theory provide a foundation for mathematics that is autonomous with respect to the orthodox foundation in a set theory such as ZFC? We distinguish three types of autonomy: logical, conceptual, and justificatory. Focusing on a categorical theory of sets, we argue that a strong case can be made for its logical and conceptual autonomy. Its justificatory autonomy turns on whether the objects of a foundation for mathematics should be specified only up to isomorphism, as is customary in other (...)
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  23. Deference Done Right.Richard Pettigrew & Michael G. Titelbaum - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-19.
    There are many kinds of epistemic experts to which we might wish to defer in setting our credences. These include: highly rational agents, objective chances, our own future credences, our own current credences, and evidential probabilities. But exactly what constraint does a deference requirement place on an agent's credences? In this paper we consider three answers, inspired by three principles that have been proposed for deference to objective chances. We consider how these options fare when applied to the other kinds (...)
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  24. Taking a Good look at the norms of gathering and responding to evidence.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    In the recent philosophical literature on inquiry, epistemologists point out that their subject has often begun at the point at which you already have your evidence and then focussed on identifying the beliefs for which that evidence provides justification. But we are not mere passive recipients of evidence. While some comes to us unbidden, we often actively collect it. This has long been recognised, but typically epistemologists have taken the norms that govern inquiry to be practical, not epistemic. The recent (...)
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  25.  61
    Accuracy and the Credence-Belief Connection.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15:1-20.
    Probabilism says an agent is rational only if her credences are probabilistic. This paper is concerned with the so-called Accuracy Dominance Argument for Probabilism. This argument begins with the claim that the sole fundamental source of epistemic value for a credence is its accuracy. It then shows that, however we measure accuracy, any non-probabilistic credences are accuracy-dominated: that is, there are alternative credences that are guaranteed to be more accurate than them. It follows that non-probabilistic credences are irrational. In this (...)
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  26. A New Epistemic Utility Argument for the Principal Principle.Richard G. Pettigrew - 2013 - Episteme 10 (1):19-35.
    Jim Joyce has presented an argument for Probabilism based on considerations of epistemic utility [Joyce, 1998]. In a recent paper, I adapted this argument to give an argument for Probablism and the Principal Principle based on similar considerations [Pettigrew, 2012]. Joyce’s argument assumes that a credence in a true proposition is better the closer it is to maximal credence, whilst a credence in a false proposition is better the closer it is to minimal credence. By contrast, my argument in that (...)
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  27. On the Accuracy of Group Credences.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    We often ask for the opinion of a group of individuals. How strongly does the scientific community believe that the rate at which sea levels are rising has increased over the last 200 years? How likely does the UK Treasury think it is that there will be a recession if the country leaves the European Union? What are these group credences that such questions request? And how do they relate to the individual credences assigned by the members of the particular (...)
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  28. Accuracy-First Epistemology Without Additivity.Richard Pettigrew - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (1):128-151.
    Accuracy arguments for the core tenets of Bayesian epistemology differ mainly in the conditions they place on the legitimate ways of measuring the inaccuracy of our credences. The best existing arguments rely on three conditions: Continuity, Additivity, and Strict Propriety. In this paper, I show how to strengthen the arguments based on these conditions by showing that the central mathematical theorem on which each depends goes through without assuming Additivity.
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  29. The Dutch Book Arguments.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    (This is for the series Elements of Decision Theory published by Cambridge University Press and edited by Martin Peterson) -/- Our beliefs come in degrees. I believe some things more strongly than I believe others. I believe very strongly that global temperatures will continue to rise during the coming century; I believe slightly less strongly that the European Union will still exist in 2029; and I believe much less strongly that Cardiff is east of Edinburgh. My credence in something is (...)
  30. Bayesian updating when what you learn might be false.Richard Pettigrew - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):309-324.
    Rescorla (Erkenntnis, 2020) has recently pointed out that the standard arguments for Bayesian Conditionalization assume that whenever I become certain of something, it is true. Most people would reject this assumption. In response, Rescorla offers an improved Dutch Book argument for Bayesian Conditionalization that does not make this assumption. My purpose in this paper is two-fold. First, I want to illuminate Rescorla’s new argument by giving a very general Dutch Book argument that applies to many cases of updating beyond those (...)
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  31. Illness as Transformative Experience.Havi Carel, Richard Pettigrew & Ian James Kidd - 2017 - The Lancet 388:1152-1153..
    We propose that certain forms of chronic illness can be transformative experiences, in the sense described by L.A. Paul.
     
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  32. What is the characteristic wrong of testimonial injustice?Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    My aim in this paper is to identify the wrong that is done in all cases of testimonial injustice, if there is one. Miranda Fricker (2007) proposes one account of this distinctive wrong, and Gaile Pohlhaus Jr. (2014) offers another. I think neither works. Nor does an account based on giving due respect to the testifier's epistemic competence. Nor does an account based on exposing the testifier to substantial risk of harm. Rachel Fraser (2023) describes a further account, and the (...)
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  33.  51
    Aggregating incoherent agents who disagree.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2737-2776.
    In this paper, we explore how we should aggregate the degrees of belief of a group of agents to give a single coherent set of degrees of belief, when at least some of those agents might be probabilistically incoherent. There are a number of ways of aggregating degrees of belief, and there are a number of ways of fixing incoherent degrees of belief. When we have picked one of each, should we aggregate first and then fix, or fix first and (...)
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  34. II—Pluralism about Belief States.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):187-204.
    With his Humean thesis on belief, Leitgeb seeks to say how beliefs and credences ought to interact with one another. To argue for this thesis, he enumerates the roles beliefs must play and the properties they must have if they are to play them, together with norms that beliefs and credences intuitively must satisfy. He then argues that beliefs can play these roles and satisfy these norms if, and only if, they are related to credences in the way set out (...)
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  35. The Principal Principle does not imply the Principle of Indifference.Richard Pettigrew - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx060.
    In a recent paper in this journal, James Hawthorne, Jürgen Landes, Christian Wallmann, and Jon Williamson argue that the principal principle entails the principle of indifference. In this paper, I argue that it does not. Lewis’s version of the principal principle notoriously depends on a notion of admissibility, which Lewis uses to restrict its application. HLWW base their argument on certain intuitions concerning when one proposition is admissible for another: Conditions 1 and 2. There are two ways of reading their (...)
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  36. Two types of abstraction for structuralism.Øystein Linnebo & Richard Pettigrew - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):267-283.
    If numbers were identified with any of their standard set-theoretic realizations, then they would have various non-arithmetical properties that mathematicians are reluctant to ascribe to them. Dedekind and later structuralists conclude that we should refrain from ascribing to numbers such ‘foreign’ properties. We first rehearse why it is hard to provide an acceptable formulation of this conclusion. Then we investigate some forms of abstraction meant to purge mathematical objects of all ‘foreign’ properties. One form is inspired by Frege; the other (...)
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  37. What we talk about when we talk about numbers.Richard Pettigrew - 2018 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 169 (12):1437-1456.
    In this paper, I describe and motivate a new species of mathematical structuralism, which I call Instrumental Nominalism about Set-Theoretic Structuralism. As the name suggests, this approach takes standard Set-Theoretic Structuralism of the sort championed by Bourbaki and removes its ontological commitments by taking an instrumental nominalist approach to that ontology of the sort described by Joseph Melia and Gideon Rosen. I argue that this avoids all of the problems that plague other versions of structuralism.
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  38. When are choices, actions, and consent based on adaptive preferences nonautonomous?Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    Adaptive preferences give rise to puzzles in ethics, political philosophy, decision theory, and the theory of action. Like our other preferences, adaptive preferences lead us to make choices, take action, and give consent. In 'False Consciousness for Liberals', recently published in The Philosophical Review, David Enoch (2020) proposes a criterion by which to identify when these choices, actions, and acts of consent are less than fully autonomous; that is, when they suffer from what Natalie Stoljar (2014) calls an 'autonomy deficit'. (...)
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  39.  87
    Internalism, Externalism, and the KK Principle.Alexander Bird & Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1-20.
    This paper examines the relationship between the KK principle and the epistemological theses of externalism and internalism. In particular we examine arguments from Okasha :80–86, 2013) and Greco :169–197, 2014) which deny that we can derive the denial of the KK principle from externalism.
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  40. Should longtermists recommend hastening extinction rather than delaying it?Richard Pettigrew - forthcoming - The Monist.
    Longtermism is the view that the most urgent global priorities, and those to which we should devote the largest portion of our resources, are those that focus on (i) ensuring a long future for humanity, and perhaps sentient or intelligent life more generally, and (ii) improving the quality of the lives that inhabit that long future. While it is by no means the only one, the argument most commonly given for this conclusion is that these interventions have greater expected goodness (...)
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  41. Aggregating agents with opinions about different propositions.Richard Pettigrew - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-25.
    There are many reasons we might want to take the opinions of various individuals and pool them to give the opinions of the group they constitute. If all the individuals in the group have probabilistic opinions about the same propositions, there is a host of pooling functions we might deploy, such as linear or geometric pooling. However, there are also cases where different members of the group assign probabilities to different sets of propositions, which might overlap a lot, a little, (...)
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  42.  35
    Internalism, Externalism, and the KK Principle.Richard Pettigrew & Alexander Bird - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1713-1732.
    This paper examines the relationship between the KK principle and the epistemological theses of externalism and internalism. In particular we examine arguments from Okasha (Analysis 73(1):80–86, 2013) and Greco (J Philos 111(4):169–197, 2014) which deny that we can derive the denial of the KK principle from externalism.
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  43. Risk, rationality and expected utility theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):798-826.
    There are decision problems where the preferences that seem rational to many people cannot be accommodated within orthodox decision theory in the natural way. In response, a number of alternatives to the orthodoxy have been proposed. In this paper, I offer an argument against those alternatives and in favour of the orthodoxy. I focus on preferences that seem to encode sensitivity to risk. And I focus on the alternative to the orthodoxy proposed by Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory. I (...)
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  44. Transformative experience and the knowledge norms for action: Moss on Paul’s challenge to decision theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. New York, NY, USA:
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. 2015, Harman (...)
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  45.  89
    Epistemic utility arguments for Probabilism.Richard Pettigrew - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia.
  46.  36
    Précis and replies to contributors for book symposium on accuracy and the laws of credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2017 - Episteme 14 (1):1-30.
    ABSTRACTThis book symposium onAccuracy and the Laws of Credenceconsists of an overview of the book’s argument by the author, Richard Pettigrew, together with four commentaries on different aspects of that argument. Ben Levinstein challenges the characterisation of the legitimate measures of inaccuracy that plays a central role in the arguments of the book. Julia Staffel asks whether the arguments of the book are compatible with an ontology of doxastic states that includes full beliefs as well as credences. Fabrizio Cariani raises (...)
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  47. Making Things Right: The True Consequences of Decision Theory in Epistemology.Richard Pettigrew - 2018 - In Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij & Jeff Dunn (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 220-239.
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  48. Autonomy for Changing Selves.Richard Pettigrew - 2023 - In Ben Colburn (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Autonomy. London: Routledge.
    Our values change. What we value, want, desire, prefer, and how much; for nearly everyone, these will be different at different times in their life. These changes can be gradual or abrupt; they can be long-lasting or short-lived; and they can be induced by forces outside yourself or they can come from within or they can have no specific catalyst at all. Such preference change raises a number of questions for our theorising about rational choice, and these have been discussed (...)
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  49. Pooling, Products, and Priors.Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg -
    We often learn the opinions of others without hearing the evidence on which they're based. The orthodox Bayesian response is to treat the reported opinion as evidence itself and update on it by conditionalizing. But sometimes this isn't feasible. In these situations, a simpler way of combining one's existing opinion with opinions reported by others would be useful, especially if it yields the same results as conditionalization. We will show that one method---upco, also known as multiplicative pooling---is specially suited to (...)
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  50. Three questions for liberals.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    In this paper, I ask three questions of the liberal. In each, I fill in philosophical detail around a certain sort of complaint raised in current public debates about their position. In the first, I probe the limits of the liberal's tolerance for civil disobedience; in the second, I ask how the liberal can adjudicate the most divisive moral disputes of the age; and, in the third, I suggest the liberal faces a problem when there is substantial disagreement about the (...)
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