Imprecise Epistemic Values and Imprecise Credences

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A number of recent arguments purport to show that imprecise credences are incompatible with accuracy-first epistemology. If correct, this conclusion suggests a conflict between evidential and alethic epistemic norms. In the first part of the paper, I claim that these arguments fail if we understand imprecise credences as indeterminate credences. In the second part, I explore why agents with entirely alethic epistemic values can end up in an indeterminate credal state. Following William James, I argue that there are many distinct alethic values that a rational agent can have. Furthermore, such an agent is rationally permitted not to have settled on one fully precise value function. This indeterminacy in value will sometimes result in indeterminacy in epistemic behaviour—that is, because the agent’s values aren’t settled, what she believes might not be.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-760
Number of pages20
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number4
Early online dateMar 11 2019
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • accuracy
  • epistemic utility
  • imprecise probability
  • indeterminacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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