Philosophical Studies

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 135–139 | Cite as

Epistemic instrumentalism, exceeding our grasp



In the concluding chapter of Exceeding our Grasp Kyle Stanford outlines a positive response to the central issue raised brilliantly by his book, the problem of unconceived alternatives. This response, called "epistemic instrumentalism", relies on a distinction between instrumental and literal belief. We examine this distinction and with it the viability of Stanford's instrumentalism, which may well be another case of exceeding our grasp.


Antirealism Eliminative inference Instrumentalism Pessimistic induction Realism 


  1. Einstein Archives Document 22–301Google Scholar
  2. Peres, A. (2003). "Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen, and Shannon", quant-ph: 0310010Google Scholar
  3. Stanford, P. K. (2006). Exceeding our grasp. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations