EPISTEMIC UTILITY AND THE NORMATIVITY OF LOGIC (pages 455-492)

Richard PETTIGREW

ABSTRACT: How does logic relate to rational belief? Is logic normative for belief, as some say? What, if anything, do facts about logical consequence tell us about norms of doxastic rationality? In this paper, we consider a range of putative logic-rationality bridge principles. These purport to relate facts about logical consequence to norms that govern the rationality of our beliefs and credences. To investigate these principles, we deploy a novel approach, namely, epistemic utility theory. That is, we assume that doxastic attitudes have different epistemic value depending on how accurately they represent the world. We then use the principles of decision theory to determine which of the putative logic-rationality bridge principles we can derive from considerations of epistemic utility.

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