Extending epistemic innocence beyond belief

A picture of continuity Some beliefs are epistemically innocent when they are irrational but provide epistemic benefits that would not be available otherwise. We already saw some examples: delusion, confabulation, and optimistically biased beliefs. Here I explain why I apply epistemic innocence to different types of beliefs across clinical and …

Optimism: ignorance or hope?

Powerful agents We are likely to overestimate our capacities and make exceedingly rosy predictions about our future. This widespread bias towards optimism is a robust finding in psychology. It is also a clear case of epistemic irrationality which has serious implications for risk assessment. According to a recent article, unrealistic …

Confabulation: good, bad, or inevitable?

Incurable confabulators Philosophers sometimes describe humans as rational animals. It would be more accurate to say that we are confabulating animals. The problem is that it is not always easy to distinguish our frequent practice of confabulation from the rare moments when we exercise our rationality. A provocative idea is …

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