Phil 742

Bayesian perspectives on epistemic value


(You can find a .pdf version of the course syllabus here.)

In this class we’ll be looking at truth-guided approaches to epistemology, particularly from a Bayesian perspectives. Possible questions we’ll consider include: What work is there to be done by a theory of epistemic value? Can a theory of epistemic value give support to epistemic norms? (If so, are there norms beyond norms of formal coherence that can be grounded in such a theory? Can a theory of epistemic value be put to use to give an account of the rationality of conceptual change?) Should we think of epistemic rationality on the model of our best theories of practical rationality? Should a theory of epistemic value be sensitive to anything beyond truth and accuracy considerations? What are the loci of epistemic value?

Course requirements

It is a good idea to think of the seminarwhether or not you are enrolled for credit—-as a reading group of which you are an active participant.

Students enrolled in this course for credit will have to submit a term paper. You should meet with one of us to discuss your paper topic. This should happen by November 21 at the latest. In addition to the term paper, you will be expected to submit four questions before each class on one of the main readings for that meeting, unless you hear otherwise. Questions will be due on Friday before the meeting where we will discuss the relevant reading. Think of these as the kind of questions you would ask during a Q&A with the author.