Arbitrary switching and concern for truth

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Dandelet, Sophia 

This essay is about a special kind of transformative choice that plays a key role in debates about permissivism, the view that some bodies of evidence permit more than one rational response. A prominent objection to this view contends that its defender cannot vindicate our aversion to arbitrarily switching between belief states in the absence of any new evidence. A prominent response to that objection tries to provide the desired vindication by appealing to the idea that arbitrary switching would involve a special kind of transformative choice: the choice to change one's epistemic standards, i.e., one's commitments regarding the relative importance of achieving true belief and avoiding false belief. My first aims here are to argue that this response is unsuccessful and propose an alternative. My secondary aim is to consider how this discussion might bear on more general debates about transformative choice.

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Synthese: an international journal for epistemology, methodology and philosophy of science
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