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Epistemic Values and the Value of Learning

Myrvold, Wayne (2010) Epistemic Values and the Value of Learning. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    In addition to purely practical values, there are cognitive values which figure in scientific deliberations. One way of introducing cognitive values is to consider the cognitive value that accrues to the act of accepting a hypothesis. Although such values may have a role to play in the matter of theory acceptance, this does not exhaust their significance in scientific decision-making. This paper makes a plea for the consideration of epistemic value--- cognitive value that attaches to a state of belief. I defend the notion of cognitive epistemic value against criticisms that have been raised against it. A stability requirement for epistemic value-functions is argued for on the basis of considerations of diachronic coherence. This requirement is sufficient for proving the Value of Learning Theorem, which says that the expected utility of cost-free learning cannot be negative. Under the assumption of stability, the expected cognitive epistemic value of undergoing a learning experience must also be non-negative.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcoming in Synthese.
    Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
    General Issues > Decision Theory
    General Issues > Values In Science
    Depositing User: Wayne Myrvold
    Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2010 08:43
    Last Modified: 07 Dec 2010 08:43
    Item ID: 8415
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8415

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