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A NEW EPISTEMIC UTILITY ARGUMENT FOR THE PRINCIPAL PRINCIPLE*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 March 2013

Abstract

Jim Joyce has presented an argument for Probabilism based on considerations of epistemic utility. In a recent paper, I adapted this argument to give an argument for Probablism and the Principal Principle based on similar considerations. 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 paper assumed (roughly) that a credence in a proposition is better the closer it is to the objective chance of that proposition. In this paper, I present an epistemic utility argument for Probabilism and the Principal Principle that retains Joyce's assumption rather than the alternative I endorsed in the earlier paper. I argue that this results in a superior argument for these norms.

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Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

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Footnotes

*

I would like to thank Rachael Briggs, Kenny Easwaran, Branden Fitelson, Alan Hájek, Katie Steele, Jonathan Weisberg, and other participants in the Fourth Formal Epistemology Festival held in Konstanz in June 2012. Their questions and comments improved this paper greatly.

References

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