Research Article

Epistemic Value Theory and Judgment Aggregation

Don Fallis

We frequently make judgments about the world. Juries make judgments about whether defendants are guilty. Umpires make judgments about whether pitches are strikes. Tenure committees make judgments about whether professors deserve tenure. We typically want these judgments about the world to have good epistemic properties. We would like our judgments to be true rather than false, for example. We would also like our judgments to be consistent with each other; and we would like to have good reasons for our judgments. This paper will be concerned with how we can make judgments that have such good epistemic properties.

Don Fallis is Associate Professor of Information Resources and Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. His research interests include epistemology, social epistemology, philosophy of information, and philosophy of mathematics. He is currently developing an epistemic value theory that can be used to evaluate the success of various practices (such as information policies) in achieving the epistemic goals that people have (such as acquiring true beliefs and avoiding false beliefs). His articles have appeared in the Journal of Philosophy, the American Mathematical Monthly, the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Philosophical Studies, and Synthese. He also edited an issue of Social Epistemology on “Social Epistemology and Information Science” and has written a chapter for the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology on the same topic.