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The Wrong Kind of Reason

Journal of Philosophy 102 (9):437 - 457 (2005)

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  1. Staying True with the Help of Others: Doxastic Self-Control Through Interpersonal Commitment.Leo Charles Townsend - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (3):243-258.
    I explore the possibility and rationality of interpersonal mechanisms of doxastic self-control, that is, ways in which individuals can make use of other people in order to get themselves to stick to their beliefs. I look, in particular, at two ways in which people can make interpersonal epistemic commitments, and thereby willingly undertake accountability to others, in order to get themselves to maintain their beliefs in the face of anticipated “epistemic temptations”. The first way is through the avowal of belief, (...)
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  • From Self-Defense to Violent Protest.Edmund Tweedy Flanigan - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-25.
    It is an orthodoxy of modern political thought that violence is morally incompatible with politics, with the important exception of the permissible violence carried out by the state. The “commonsense argument” for permissible political violence denies this by extending the principles of defensive ethics to the context of state-subject interaction. This article has two aims: First, I critically investigate the commonsense argument and its limits. I argue that the scope of permissions it licenses is significantly more limited than its proponents (...)
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  • The Virtues of Reactive Attitudes.Lisa Tessman - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (3):437-456.
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  • Explaining Normative Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Noûs.
    In this paper, we present and defend a natural yet novel analysis of normative reasons. According to what we call support-explanationism, for a fact to be a normative reason to φ is for it to explain why there’s normative support for φ-ing. We critically consider the two main rival forms of explanationism—ought-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about ought, and good-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about goodness—as well as the popular Reasons-First view, which takes the notion of a normative (...)
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  • Value Theory.Mark Schroeder - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The term “value theory” is used in at least three different ways in philosophy. In its broadest sense, “value theory” is a catch-all label used to encompass all branches of moral philosophy, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and sometimes feminist philosophy and the philosophy of religion — whatever areas of philosophy are deemed to encompass some “evaluative” aspect. In its narrowest sense, “value theory” is used for a relatively narrow area of normative ethical theory of particular concern to consequentialists. In (...)
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  • The Real Myth of Coherence.Wooram Lee - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    In this paper, I offer a novel view of the coherence (or structural) requirements on belief and intention, according to which they are not norms, but rather principles describing how your belief and intention operate. I first argue, on the basis of the unintelligibility of some relevant attitudes-reports, that there are conditions under which you simply do not count as believing or intending unless your beliefs and intentions satisfy the requirements: the conditions under which all of your relevant attitudes are (...)
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  • Educating for Ignorance.Rik Peels & Duncan Pritchard - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7949-7963.
    It is widely thought that education should aim at positive epistemic standings, like knowledge, insight, and understanding. In this paper, we argue that, surprisingly, in pursuit of this aim, it is sometimes necessary to also cultivate ignorance. We examine several types of case. First, in various circumstances educators should present students with defeaters for their knowledge, so that they come to lack knowledge, at least temporarily. Second, there is the phenomenon of ‘scaffolding’ in education, which we note might sometimes involve (...)
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  • Minimal Disturbance: In Defence of Pragmatic Reasons of the Right Kind.Lisa Bastian - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3615-3636.
    This paper draws attention to an important methodological shortcoming in debates about what counts as a reason for belief. An extremely influential distinction in this literature is between reasons of the ‘right kind’ and the ‘wrong kind’. However, as I will demonstrate, arguments making use of this distinction often rely on a specific conception of epistemic rationality. Shifting focus to a reasonable alternative, namely a coherentist conception, can lead to surprising consequences—in particular, pragmatic reasons can, against orthodoxy, indeed be reasons (...)
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  • Evidentialism in action.A. K. Flowerree - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3409-3426.
    Sometimes it is practically beneficial to believe what is epistemically unwarranted. Philosophers have taken these cases to raise the question are there practical reasons for belief? Evidentialists argue that there cannot be any such reasons. Putative practical reasons for belief are not reasons for belief, but reasons to manage our beliefs in a particular way. Pragmatists are not convinced. They accept that some reasons for belief are practical. The debate, it is widely thought, is at an impasse. But this debate (...)
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  • Moral Encroachment and Reasons of the Wrong Kind.James Fritz - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3051-3070.
    According to the view that there is moral encroachment in epistemology, whether a person has knowledge of p sometimes depends on moral considerations, including moral considerations that do not bear on the truth or likelihood of p. Defenders of moral encroachment face a central challenge: they must explain why the moral considerations they cite, unlike moral bribes for belief, are reasons of the right kind for belief (or withheld belief). This paper distinguishes between a moderate and a radical version of (...)
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  • The fitting resolution of anger.Oded Na’Aman - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2417-2430.
    How can we explain the rational diminution of backward-looking emotions without resorting to pragmatic or wrong kind of reason explanations? That is to say, how can the diminution of these emotions not only be rational but fitting? In this paper, I offer an answer to this question by considering the case of anger. In Sect. 1, I examine Pamela Hieronymi’s account of forgiveness as the rational resolution of resentment. I argue that Hieronymi’s account rests on an assumption about the rationality (...)
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  • Ecumenical Epistemic Instrumentalism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2613-2639.
    According to extant versions of epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons. Epistemic instrumentalism is unpopular. I think it’s just misunderstood. Rather than saying epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons, epistemic instrumentalists should only say that if there is an epistemic reason, there is also an instrumental reason. This is the view I call ecumenical epistemic instrumentalism. In this paper, I first motivate, next sketch, and finally highlight the advantages of this version of epistemic instrumentalism.
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  • Fitting Attitude Theory and the Normativity of Jokes.Stephanie Patridge & Andrew Jordan - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (6):1303-1320.
    We defend a fitting-attitude theory of the funny against a set of potential objections. Ultimately, we endorse a version of FA theory that treats reasons for amusement as non-compelling, metaphysically non-conditional, and alterable by social features of the joke telling context. We find that this version of FA theory is well-suited to accommodate our ordinary practices of telling and being amused by jokes, and helpfully bears on the related faultless disagreement dispute.
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  • Epistemic Justification and the Ignorance Excuse.Nathan Biebel - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3005-3028.
    One of the most common excuses is ignorance. Ignorance does not always excuse, however, for sometimes ignorance is culpable. One of the most natural ways to think of the difference between exculpating and culpable ignorance is in terms of justification; that is, one’s ignorance is exculpating only if it is justified and one’s ignorance is culpable only if it not justified. Rosen :591–610, 2008) explores this idea by first offering a brief account of justification, and then two cases that he (...)
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  • Agency of Belief and Intention.A. Flowerree - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2763-2784.
    In this paper, I argue for a conditional parity thesis: if we are agents with respect to our intentions, we are agents with respect to our beliefs. In the final section, I motivate a categorical version of the parity thesis: we are agents with respect to belief and intention. My aim in this paper is to show that there is no unique challenge facing epistemic agency that is not also facing agency with respect to intention. My thesis is ambitious on (...)
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  • Abandoning the Buck Passing Analysis of Final Value.Andrew E. Reisner - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (4):379 - 395.
    In this paper it is argued that the buck-passing analysis (BPA) of final value is not a plausible analysis of value and should be abandoned. While considering the influential wrong kind of reason problem and other more recent technical objections, this paper contends that there are broader reasons for giving up on buck-passing. It is argued that the BPA, even if it can respond to the various technical objections, is not an attractive analysis of final value. It is not attractive (...)
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  • Putting Reasons First: A Defense of Normative Non-Naturalism.Andrew T. Forcehimes - unknown
    Against non-analytic naturalism and quietist realism, I defend a robust form of non-naturalism. The argument proceeds as follows: In the face of extensional underdetermination, quietist realism cannot non-question-beggingly respond to alternative accounts that offer formally identical but substantively different interpretations of what reasons are. They face what we might call the reasons appropriation problem. In light of this problem, quietists ought to abandon their view in favor of robust realism. By permitting substantive metaphysical claims we can then argue, based on (...)
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  • Responsibility for Believing.Pamela Hieronymi - 2008 - Synthese 161 (3):357-373.
    Many assume that we can be responsible only what is voluntary. This leads to puzzlement about our responsibility for our beliefs, since beliefs seem not to be voluntary. I argue against the initial assumption, presenting an account of responsibility and of voluntariness according to which, not only is voluntariness not required for responsibility, but the feature which renders an attitude a fundamental object of responsibility (that the attitude embodies one’s take on the world and one’s place in it) also guarantees (...)
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  • Mental Painkillers and Reasons for Pain.Hagit Benbaji - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):1-32.
    What does bodily pain have in common with mental pain? According to “evaluativism,” both are representations of something bad. This paper puts forward three claims. First, that evaluativism vis-à-vis bodily pain is false for it renders it irrational to take painkillers. Second, that evaluativism vis-à-vis mental pain is true. Third, that this difference between bodily and mental pain stems from the fact that only the latter is normative, that is, based on reasons. The normative difference between bodily and mental pain (...)
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  • Epistemic Deontology and Voluntariness.Conor McHugh - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):65-94.
    We tend to prescribe and appraise doxastic states in terms that are broadly deontic. According to a simple argument, such prescriptions and appraisals are improper, because they wrongly presuppose that our doxastic states are voluntary. One strategy for resisting this argument, recently endorsed by a number of philosophers, is to claim that our doxastic states are in fact voluntary (This strategy has been pursued by Steup 2008 ; Weatherson 2008 ). In this paper I argue that this strategy is neither (...)
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  • Morality, Reasons, and Sentiments.Eric Vogelstein - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (3):421-432.
    Morality is commonly thought to be normative in a robust and important way. This is commonly cashed out in terms of normative reasons. It is also commonly thought that morality is necessarily and universally normative, i.e., that moral reasons are reasons for any possible moral agent. Taking these commonplaces for granted, I argue for a novel view of moral normativity. I challenge the standard view that moral reasons are reasons to act. I suggest that moral reasons are reasons for having (...)
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  • A Defense of Temperate Epistemic Transparency.Eleonora Cresto - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (6):923-955.
    Epistemic transparency tells us that, if an agent S knows a given proposition p , then S knows that she knows that p . This idea is usually encoded in the so-called KK principle of epistemic logic. The paper develops an argument in favor of a moderate version of KK , which I dub quasi-transparency , as a normative rather than a descriptive principle. In the second Section I put forward the suggestion that epistemic transparency is not a demand of (...)
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  • So Why Can’T You Intend to Drink the Toxin?Fernando Rudy-Hiller - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (3):294-311.
    In this paper I revisit Gregory Kavka’s Toxin Puzzle and propose a novel solution to it. Like some previous accounts, mine postulates a tight link between intentions and reasons but, unlike them, in my account these are motivating rather than normative reasons, i.e. reasons that explain (rather than justify) the intended action. I argue that sensitivity to the absence of possible motivational explanations for the intended action is constitutive of deliberation-based intentions. Since ordinary rational agents display this sensitivity, when placed (...)
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  • The Guise of the Good and the Problem of Partiality.Allan Hazlett - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):851-872.
    According to the guise of the good thesis, we desire things under the ‘guise of the good.’ Here I sympathetically articulate a generic formulation of the guise of the good thesis, and addre...
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  • Not Quite Neo-Sentimentalism.Tristram Oliver-Skuse - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):877-899.
    The view that some evaluative concepts are identical to some affective concepts naturally falls out of neo-sentimentalism, but it is unstable. This paper argues for a view of evaluative concepts that is neo-sentimentalist in spirit but which eschews the identity claim. If we adopt a Peacockean view of concepts, then we should think of some evaluative concepts as having possession conditions that are affective in some way. I argue that the best version of this thought claims that possessing those concepts (...)
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  • Do Reasons Expire? An Essay on Grief.Berislav Marušić - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18.
    Suppose we suffer a loss, such as the death of a loved one. In light of her death, we will typically feel grief, as it seems we should. After all, our loved one’s death is a reason for grief. Yet with the passage of time, our grief will typically diminish, and this seems somehow all right. However, our reason for grief ostensibly remains the same, since the passage of time does not undo our loss. How, then, could it not be (...)
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  • In Defense of Practical Reasons for Belief.Stephanie Leary - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):529-542.
    Many meta-ethicists are alethists: they claim that practical considerations can constitute normative reasons for action, but not for belief. But the alethist owes us an account of the relevant difference between action and belief, which thereby explains this normative difference. Here, I argue that two salient strategies for discharging this burden fail. According to the first strategy, the relevant difference between action and belief is that truth is the constitutive standard of correctness for belief, but not for action, while according (...)
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  • Aiming at the Truth and Aiming at Success.Lubomira Radoilska - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):111-126.
    This paper explores how the norms of belief relate to the norms of action. The discussion centres on addressing a challenge from positive illusions stating that the demands we face as believers aiming at the truth and the demands we face as agents aiming at success often pull in opposite directions. In response to this challenge, it is argued that the pursuits of aiming at the truth and aiming at success are fully compatible and mutually reinforcing. More specifically, the link (...)
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  • On the Special Insult of Refusing Testimony.Allan Hazlett - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):37-51.
    In this paper, I defend the claim, made by G. E. M. Anscombe and J. L. Austin, that you can insult someone by refusing her testimony. I argue that refusing someone’s testimony can manifest doubt about her credibility, which in the relevant cases is offensive to her, given that she presupposed her credibility by telling what she did. I conclude by sketching three applications of my conclusion: to the issue of valuable false belief, to the issue of testimonial injustice, and (...)
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  • Value and the Right Kind of Reason.Mark Schroeder - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 5:25-55.
    Fitting Attitudes accounts of value analogize or equate being good with being desirable, on the premise that ‘desirable’ means not, ‘able to be desired’, as Mill has been accused of mistakenly assuming, but ‘ought to be desired’, or something similar. The appeal of this idea is visible in the critical reaction to Mill, which generally goes along with his equation of ‘good’ with ‘desirable’ and only balks at the second step, and it crosses broad boundaries in terms of philosophers’ other (...)
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  • A New Moral Sentimentalism.Eric Vogelstein - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):346-368.
    This paper argues for a novel sentimentalist realist metaethical theory, according to which moral wrongness is analyzed in terms of the sentiments one has most reason to have. As opposed to standard sentimentalist views, the theory does not employ sentiments that are had in response to morally wrong action, but rather sentiments that antecedently dispose people to refrain from immoral behavior, specifically the sentiments of compassion and respect.
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  • Nothing but the Evidential Considerations?Nathaniel P. Sharadin - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):343-361.
    A number of philosophers have claimed that non-evidential considerations cannot play a role in doxastic deliberation as motivating reasons to believe a proposition. This claim, interesting in its own right, naturally lends itself to use in a range of arguments for a wide array of substantive philosophical theses. I argue, by way of a counterexample, that the claim to which all these arguments appeal is false. I then consider, and reply to, seven objections to my counterexample. Finally, as a way (...)
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  • A social solution to the puzzle of doxastic responsibility: a two-dimensional account of responsibility for belief.Robert Carry Osborne - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9335-9356.
    In virtue of what are we responsible for our beliefs? I argue that doxastic responsibility has a crucial social component: part of being responsible for our beliefs is being responsible to others. I suggest that this responsibility is a form of answerability with two distinct dimensions: an individual and an interpersonal dimension. While most views hold that the individual dimension is grounded in some form of control that we can exercise over our beliefs, I contend that we are answerable for (...)
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  • Belief and Difficult Action.Berislav Marušić - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12:1-30.
    Suppose you decide or promise to do something that you have evidence is difficult to do. Should you believe that you will do it? On the one hand, if you believe that you will do it, your belief goes against the evidence—since having evidence that it’s difficult to do it constitutes evidence that it is likely that you won’t do it. On the other hand, if you don’t believe that you will do it but instead believe, as your evidence suggests, (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and Merit.Matt King - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2):1-18.
    In the contemporary moral responsibility debate, most theorists seem to be giving accounts of responsibility in the ‘desert-entailing sense’. Despite this agreement, little has been said about the notion of desert that is supposedly entailed. In this paper I propose an understanding of desert sufficient to help explain why the blameworthy and praiseworthy deserve blame and praise, respectively. I do so by drawing upon what might seem an unusual resource. I appeal to so-called Fitting-Attitude accounts of value to help inform (...)
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  • On Believing Indirectly for Practical Reasons.Sebastian Schmidt - 2021 - Philosophical Studies:1-25.
    It is often argued that there are no practical reasons for belief because we could not believe for such reasons. A recent reply by pragmatists is that we can often believe for practical reasons because we can often cause our beliefs for practical reasons. This paper reveals the limits of this recently popular strategy for defending pragmatism, and thereby reshapes the dialectical options for pragmatism. I argue that the strategy presupposes that reasons for being in non-intentional states are not reducible (...)
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  • The Possibility of Pragmatic Reasons for Belief and the Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem.Andrew Reisner - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (2):257 - 272.
    In this paper I argue against the stronger of the two views concerning the right and wrong kind of reasons for belief, i.e. the view that the only genuine normative reasons for belief are evidential. The project in this paper is primarily negative, but with an ultimately positive aim. That aim is to leave room for the possibility that there are genuine pragmatic reasons for belief. Work is required to make room for this view, because evidentialism of a strict variety (...)
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  • Epistemic Freedom Revisited.Gregory Antill - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):793-815.
    Philosophers have recently argued that self-fulfilling beliefs constitute an important counter-example to the widely accepted theses that we ought not and cannot believe at will. Cases of self-fulfilling belief are thought to constitute a special class where we enjoy the epistemic freedom to permissibly believe for pragmatic reasons, because whatever we choose to believe will end up true. In this paper, I argue that this view fails to distinguish between the aim of acquiring a true belief and the aim of (...)
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  • Epistemic Responsibility Without Epistemic Agency.Pascal Engel - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):205 – 219.
    This article discusses the arguments against associating epistemic responsibility with the ordinary notion of agency. I examine the various 'Kantian' views which lead to a distinctive conception of epistemic agency and epistemic responsibility. I try to explain why we can be held responsible for our beliefs in the sense of obeying norms which regulate them without being epistemic agents.
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  • How Reasoning Aims at Truth.David Horst - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):221-241.
    Many hold that theoretical reasoning aims at truth. In this paper, I ask what it is for reasoning to be thus aim-directed. Standard answers to this question explain reasoning’s aim-directedness in terms of intentions, dispositions, or rule-following. I argue that, while these views contain important insights, they are not satisfactory. As an alternative, I introduce and defend a novel account: reasoning aims at truth in virtue of being the exercise of a distinctive kind of cognitive power, one that, unlike ordinary (...)
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  • Voluntary Belief on a Reasonable Basis.Philip J. Nickel - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):312-334.
    A person presented with adequate but not conclusive evidence for a proposition is in a position voluntarily to acquire a belief in that proposition, or to suspend judgment about it. The availability of doxastic options in such cases grounds a moderate form of doxastic voluntarism not based on practical motives, and therefore distinct from pragmatism. In such cases, belief-acquisition or suspension of judgment meets standard conditions on willing: it can express stable character traits of the agent, it can be responsive (...)
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  • Forgiveness and Standing.Kevin Zaragoza - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):604-621.
    Despite broad agreement that forgiveness involves overcoming resentment, the small philosophical literature on this topic has made little progress in determining which of the many ways of overcoming resentment is forgiveness. In a recent paper, however, Pamela Hieronymi proposed a way forward by requiring that accounts of forgiveness be “articulate” and “uncompromising.” I argue for these requirements, but also claim that Hieronymi’s proposed articulate and uncompromising account must be rejected because it cannot accommodate the fact that only some agents have (...)
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  • Exercising Doxastic Freedom.Conor Mchugh - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):1-37.
    This paper defends the possibility of doxastic freedom, arguing that doxastic freedom should be modelled not on freedom of action but on freedom of intention. Freedom of action is exercised by agents like us, I argue, through voluntary control. This involves two conditions, intentions-reactivity and reasons-reactivity, that are not met in the case of doxastic states. Freedom of intention is central to our agency and to our moral responsibility, but is not exercised through voluntary control. I develop and defend an (...)
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  • Coalitions of Reasons and Reasons to Be Moral.Sam Black - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (5):pp. 33-61.
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  • From Skepticism to Paralysis: The Apraxia Argument in Cicero’s Academica.Suzanne Obdrzalek - 2012 - Ancient Philosophy 32 (2):369-392.
    This paper analyzes the apraxia argument in Cicero’s Academica. It proposes that the argument assumes two modes: the evidential mode maintains that skepticism is false, while the pragmatic claims that it is disadvantageous. The paper then develops a tension between the two modes, and concludes by exploring some differences between ancient and contemporary skepticism.
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  • Fitting Attitude Theories of Value.Daniel Jacobsen - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Normative?Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Noûs.
    According to a widely held view, epistemic reasons are normative reasons for belief – much like prudential or moral reasons are normative reasons for action. In recent years, however, an increasing number of authors have questioned the assumption that epistemic reasons are normative. In this article, I discuss an important challenge for anti-normativism about epistemic reasons and present a number of arguments in support of normativism. The challenge for anti-normativism is to say what kind of reasons epistemic reasons are if (...)
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  • Doxastic Correctness.Pascal Engel - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):199-216.
    Normative accounts of the correctness of belief have often been misconstrued. The norm of truth for belief is a constitutive norm which regulates our beliefs through ideals of reason. I try to show that this kind of account can meet some of the main objections which have been raised against normativism about belief: that epistemic reasons enjoy no exclusivity, that the norm of truth does not guide, and that normativism cannot account for suspension of judgement.
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  • Reasons and Guidance.Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (3):214-235.
    Many philosophers accept a response constraint on normative reasons: that p is a reason for you to φ only if you are able to φ for the reason that p. This constraint offers a natural way to cash out the familiar and intuitive thought that reasons must be able to guide us, and has been put to work as a premise in a range of influential arguments in ethics and epistemology. However, the constraint requires interpretation and faces putative counter-examples due (...)
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  • Epistemic Reasons I: Normativity.Kurt Sylvan - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (7):364-376.
    This paper is an opinionated guide to the literature on normative epistemic reasons. After making some distinctions in §1, I begin in §2 by discussing the ontology of normative epistemic reasons, assessing arguments for and against the view that they are mental states, and concluding that they are not mental states. In §3, I examine the distinction between normative epistemic reasons there are and normative epistemic reasons we possess. I offer a novel account of this distinction and argue that we (...)
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