Thursday, October 20, 2005

Epistemic Value and Epistemic Norms

I'll be off to Stirling this weekend for a workshop on Epistemic Value. The main focus seems to be on the value of knowledge, but I'm hoping there's going to be plenty of discussion of issues around epistemic normativity too, which I'm interested in at the moment - I'm currently drafting a paper on why it looks to be one of the more difficult kinds of mental normativity for naturalists to accommodate (although there's still reason to be optimistic that they can do it).

The thought is that a line naturalists might take with normativity claims in general is that they are claims about the maximization of some value or other which can be naturalistically characterized. (Not that this line's not fraught with difficulties, but I think it has some appeal as a strategy.) The trouble is that it's difficult to recast claims of epistemic normativity in a simple way as claims about the maximization of some value (e.g. true belief), as I note in another current draft paper, which delves into epistemic consequentialism as part of one of its attempts to see how Crispin Wright's views on entitlement can be motivated. However, I also argue there that a subtle epistemic consequentialism might have something going for it (though it wouldn't rescue Wright-style entitlement as a form of warrant), and I now want to argue that this subtler consequentialist view might be appealed to as the basis for a naturalized account of epistemic normativity.

2 comments:

Robert Newsom said...

Sterling is a great place for a conference. I gave a presentation there in the fall of 2003 at the International Philosophy of Nursing Conference (little fish in a little pond, I guess) and thought it was a splendid venue. I enjoy your blog a great deal - please keep writing!

Aidan said...

Looks like a really good conference. Say hi to Michael Lynch and Duncan if you get a chance.