Book (Edited Collection)
Epistemic Consequentialism (2018) Ahlstrom-Vij & Dunn (eds.), Oxford University Press.
Epistemic consequentialism maintains that epistemic norms are genuine norms in virtue of the way in which they are conducive to epistemic value, whatever epistemic value may be. So, for example, the epistemic consequentialist might say that it is a norm that beliefs should be consistent, in that holding consistent beliefs is the best way to achieve the epistemic value of accuracy. Thus epistemic consequentialism is structurally similar to the family of consequentialist views in ethics. This volume presents new work on this topic in both formal and traditional epistemology, by authors that are sympathetic to the view and those who are critical of it. Contributors include: Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij, Amanda Askell, Michael Caie, Julia Driver, Jeffrey Dunn, Sophie Horowitz, James Joyce, Hilary Kornblith, Clayton Littlejohn, Christopher Meacham, Alejandro Pérez Carballo, Richard Pettigrew, Nancy Snow, and Ralph Wedgwood.
“Accuracy, Verisimilitude, and Scoring Rules” (forthcoming) Australasian Journal of Philosophy (penultimate draft)
Fallis & Lewis (2016) have recently argued against many popular scoring rules (such as the Brier score) as genuine measures of accuracy for degrees of belief. I respond to this argument, in part by noting that it fails to account for verisimilitude–that certain false hypotheses might be closer to the truth than other false hypotheses. Along the way I address Oddie’s (forthcoming) recent arguments that no proper score can account for verisimilitude.
“Epistemic Free-Riding” (2018) in Epistemic Consequentialism, Ahlstrom-Vij & Dunn (eds.), Oxford University Press. (penultimate draft)
I argue that if we adopt a version of epistemic consequentialism then there are realistic cases of epistemic free-riding. These are cases where each member of a group pursuing the goal of individual accuracy leads the group to overall be less accurate.
Consequentialists in ethics famously face certain sorts of seemingly objectionable trade-offs (e.g., killing one healthy patient to save five who will otherwise die). Some have alleged that epistemic consequentialists face similar sorts of objectionable trade-offs. Some of these same people have alleged that reliabilism about justification is a form of epistemic consequentialism. Hence, reliabilists face objectionable trade-offs. We argue that this conclusion is too quick and indeed equivocates on ‘consequentialism’.
“Epistemic Consequentialism“, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
We often evaluate belief-forming processes, agents, or entire belief states for reliability. This is normally done with the assumption that beliefs are all-or-nothing. How does such evaluation go when we’re considering beliefs that come in degrees? I argue that a natural answer to this question is incorrect, and propose in its place an alternative answer that is based on the notion of calibration.
In “What Is Justified Belief?” Alvin Goldman proposed a simple form of reliabilism about justification. In Epistemology and Cognition, Goldman offered a more complicated version of reliabilism, which he has endorsed as superior to the simple version. In this paper I clarify both versions of reliabilism, and argue that the simpler model is preferable.
“Fried Eggs, Thermodynamics, and the Special Sciences” (2011) British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 62: 71-98. (penultimate draft)
Drafts/Works In Progress
“Group Inquiry and Peer Disagreement” (no longer working on)
“Epistemic Consequentialism and Epistemic Trade-offs” (no longer working on)