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According to the theory of consequentialism, people ought to aim to take the actions that will produce the best possible outcomes. It then follows that we ought to try to identify these actions as well as we can, by gathering and assimilating evidence.

While formal epistemology, and in particular Bayes’ rule, provide us with mathematical instructions for updating our credences in the face of new evidence, they do not tell us how to go about gathering this evidence or how to deal with complications that may be difficult to represent in a mathematically precise way.

Some topics relevant to the practical assessment and assimilation of evidence include: