• Epistemic Value Theory and Judgment Aggregation

      Fallis, Don (University of Edinburgh, 2005)
      The doctrinal paradox shows that aggregating individual judgments by taking a majority vote does not always yield a consistent set of collective judgments. Philip Pettit, Luc Bovens, and Wlodek Rabinowicz have recently argued for the epistemic superiority of an aggregation procedure that always yields a consistent set of judgments. This paper identifies several additional epistemic advantages of their consistency maintaining procedure. However, this paper also shows that there are some circumstances where the majority vote procedure is epistemically superior. The epistemic value of maintaining consistency does not always outweigh the epistemic value of making true judgments.
    • Epistemic Value Theory and Social Epistemology

      Fallis, Don (University of Edinburgh, 2006)
      In order to guide the decisions of real people who want to bring about good epistemic outcomes for themselves and others, we need to understand our epistemic values. In Knowledge in a Social World, Alvin Goldman has proposed an epistemic value theory that allows us to say whether one outcome is epistemically better than another. However, it has been suggested that Goldmanâ s theory is not really an epistemic value theory at all because whether one outcome is epistemically better than another partly depends on our non-epistemic interests. In this paper, I argue that an epistemic value theory that serves the purposes of social epistemology must incorporate non-epistemic interests in much the way that Goldmanâ s theory does. In fact, I argue that Goldmanâ s theory does not go far enough in this direction. In particular, the epistemic value of having a particular true belief should actually be weighted by how interested we are in the topic.