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Bias and Belief Part 2: The Utility of Truth: Defining Epistemic Values

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago

The Utility of Truth: Defining Epistemic Values

 

Up: Book Index

 

Sections

  • Informal Uses of the Distinction
  • Sociological Approaches
  • Analytical Approaches
  • Applying Decision Theory
  • The Utility Analysis
  • Hesse's Rival Analysis
  • What does the distinction apply to?
  • Connection to Other Folk Psychology Concepts

 

Summary

 

  • Epistemic values and value biases can be defined structurally, in terms of the values attaching to the (epistemically possible) consequences of actions.

     

  • In the very simplest case, the epistemic motivation is simply the value of true assertion. "Simplest case" here implies a choice between a finite number of hypotheses whose truth is act-independent and where there are no considerations of verisimilitude.

     

  • Not every value has to be either an epistemic value or a bias. Specifically, desire for a proposition to be true (or to be false) counts as neither since, assuming act-independence, it has no direct effect on the choice of opinion.

     

  • In the determination of opinion, strong value bias overrides strong belief rather than vice versa.

     

  • Opinions can be epistemic at the level of a single reasoning individual, but value-biased when we consider the social context. Alternatively, a individual who is unbiased might accept the testimony of people whose opinions are value biased.

     

 

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