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May 27th, 2013

Epistemic Teleology

I mentioned in passing last week Selim Berker’s work on epistemic teleology. This post is basically a link dump, to list a few other sources that seem relevant to thinking about epistemic teleology.

What I’m interested in primarily is how these criticisms of teleology affect our assessment of Jim Joyce’s accuracy domination argument for probabilism.

In his Justification and the Truth Condition, Clayton Littlejohn also argues against epistemic teleology, or as he calls it, epistemic consequentialism. Littlejohn and Berker use similar arguments, but different enough that it’s worth considering both. (Also, yay that Clayton’s book is available as a Kindle edition, and boo that it costs $67. This was one of two books that I went looking for Kindle editions of today, and was put off by the insane price tags.)

Branden Fitelson and Kenny Easwaran have an objection to Joyce that you can see, I think, as turning on the separateness of propositions intuition that Berker and Littlejohn appeal to. Their idea is that it is wrong to use holistic considerations (such as accuracy dominance) to move away from the correct attitude towards a particular proposition. So I suspect there are interesting connections to be made between their objection, and the Berker and Littlejohn objections.

I also suspect, though I don’t know how to argue for this right now, that there will be interesting connections between the right response to the anti-teleologists, and the right response to Michael Caie’s very different kind of objection to Joyce. But that’s for another post; for now I just wanted to keep note of some papers and books that seem relevant to thinking about the connections between epistemic teleology in general, and Joyce’s accuracy arguments in particular.

Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized

3 Comments »

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3 Responses to “Epistemic Teleology”

  1. says:

    Hello! This is exactly the topic that I’ve been working on. I haven’t written up a paper on it yet, but I do have a handout. I could send you that, if you like.

  2. says:

    Hey Brian. Another recent paper on this topic that’s worth checking out is Hilary Greaves’ “Epistemic Decision Theory”. I believe that’s on her academia.edu site.

  3. Brian Weatherson says:

    Thanks Jennifer and Mike – and sorry I missed these comments.

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