# Normative Epistemology

The workshop aims to explore the connections between epistemic rationality, norms related to inquiry, and the normativity of logic.

## Main content

### Preliminary Programme

#### Thursday October 31st

09:15-09:30 Coffee

09:30-10:45 Corine Besson (University of Sussex)

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:15 Maximilian van Remmen (University of Bergen)

12:15-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:30 André Eilertsen (University of Bergen)

14:30-14:45 Break

14:45-16:00 Benjamin Kiesewetter (Bielefeld University)

Workshop Dinner: Time and Place TBD

#### Friday November 1st

09:15-09:30 Coffee

09:30-10:45 Yacin Hamami (ETH Zürich)

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:15 Sindre Søderstrøm (University of Bergen)

12:15-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:30 Torfinn Huvenes (University of Bergen)

## Titles and abstracts

Corine Besson (University of Sussex):

**Title: The Particular-First View of Deductive Reasoning and the Normativity of Logic**

Abstract: In this talk, I look at the issue of whether logic is normative for deductive reasoning from two opposing perspectives. The first is the widely held view that deductive reasoning is rule-following; the second is my own, particular-first, view, according to which deductive reasoning can be purely a matter of grasping particular facts of entailment rather than general rules. I consider the worry that the particular-first view might require a kind of normative particularism and show not only that this is not the case but also that the view is apt to offer a sophisticated account of how logic guides deductive reasoning.

Maximilian van Remmen (University of Bergen)

**Title: Zetetic Epistemology and the normative autonomy of logic**

Does logic provide norms for reasoning over and above the demands of more general epistemic norms? This is generally taken to be a binary question: either logic is autonomously normative or it is not. In this talk, I provide a more nuanced answer. Against the background of current work on epistemic and zetetic norms, I distinguish between different normative roles coming to logic: On the one hand, logic provides ideal standards for the synchronic evaluation of doxastic states. On the other hand, facts of logical entailment provide guidance for deductive inferences as part of inquiries. Once this distinction is sufficiently appreciated, the issue of the normative autonomy of logic bifurcates. Arguments against the normative autonomy of logic are only successful as far as an evaluative normative role of logic is concerned. When it comes to the role of logic as guiding deductive inference in inquiry, however, a strong case is to be made in favour of logic being autonomously normative.

André Eilertsen (University of Bergen):

**Title: Accuracy and the Lockean Thesis**

Abstract: The talk examines one way of motivating Lockeanism about the relation between credence and belief: epistemic utility theory for categorical belief. I explore a range of possible Lockean views to see which fits best with the picture of belief painted by the epistemic utility theorist.

Benjamin Kiesewetter (Bielefeld University):

**Title: Epistemic Oughts and the Balance of Reasons**

Abstract TBA

Yacin Hamami (ETH Zürich):

**Title: Rationality in Mathematical Proofs: A Role for Mathematical Reasons?**

Abstract: On the traditional view, a mathematical proof is nothing more than a sequence of deductive steps, the only requirement being that each deductive step be valid. However, it has been noted by several leading mathematicians that this view offers a too impoverished conception of the nature of mathematical proofs. A case in point is Henri Poincaré who writes in Science et Méthode that: “A mathematical demonstration is not a simple juxtaposition of syllogisms; it consists of syllogisms placed in a certain order, and the order in which these elements are placed is much more important than the elements themselves”. What Poincaré is contesting here is the idea that a mathematical proof is a sequence of arbitrary deductive steps. In this talk, I will explore a potentially more satisfying view according to which a mathematical proof is conceived as a sequence of rational deductive steps. To this end, I will propose an account of what it means for a deductive step in a mathematical proof to qualify as rational by exploiting various resources from the philosophy of action, most notably Michael Bratman’s theory of planning agency. This account will attribute a central role to practical reasoning in the context of mathematical reasoning. We will then discuss to what extent this form of practical reasoning can be conceived as weighing mathematical reasons, what sort of reasons are those mathematical reasons, and whether there is here an additional source of normativity in addition to that related to the validity of the deductive steps in a proof.

Sindre Søderstrøm (University of Bergen):

**Title: Inference, Implication and the Background Logic Problem**

Abstract: I argue that - understood as a claim about inferential dispositions - Gilbert Harman was correct in his assessment that logic is not specially relevant to reasoning. I go on to show that this is a good thing as it hints towards a solution to the so-called Background Logic Problem.

Torfinn Huvenes (University of Bergen):

**Title: The Epistemology of Moral Disagreement and Disagreement about Taste**

Abstract: What, if any, are the differences between moral disagreement and disagreement about taste? I argue that one difference has to do with the epistemic significance of the disagreement. More specifically, it has to do with when it is correct to revise one’s judgment in the face of disagreement. I use these differences as a basis for drawing some conclusions about the nature of moral disagreement and disagreement about taste.