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The Unity of Reason

In Clayton Littlejohn John Turri (ed.), Epistemic Norms: New Essays on Action, Belief, and Assertion (forthcoming)

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  1. Actual Control - Demodalising Free Will.David Heering - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    Plausibly, agents act freely iff their actions are responses to reasons. But what sort of relationship between reason and action is required for the action to count as a response? The overwhelmingly dominant answer to this question is modalist. It holds that responses are actions that share a modally robust or secure relationship with the relevant reasons. This thesis offers a new alternative answer. It argues that responses are actions that can be explained by reasons in the right way. This (...)
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  • Do You See What I Know? On Reasons, Perceptual Evidence, and Epistemic Status.Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):205-220.
    Our epistemology can shape the way we think about perception and experience. Speaking as an epistemologist, I should say that I don’t necessarily think that this is a good thing. If we think that we need perceptual evidence to have perceptual knowledge or perceptual justification, we will naturally feel some pressure to think of experience as a source of reasons or evidence. In trying to explain how experience can provide us with evidence, we run the risk of either adopting a (...)
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  • Should Have Known.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2863-2894.
    In this paper I will be arguing that there are cases in which a subject, S, should have known that p, even though, given her state of evidence at the time, she was in no position to know it. My argument for this result will involve making two claims. The uncontroversial claim is this: S should have known that p when another person has, or would have, legitimate expectations regarding S’s epistemic condition, the satisfaction of these expectations would require that (...)
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  • Replies to Fratantonio and Lasonen-Aarnio; Goldberg; Greco; Kelp, Carter and Simion; Littlejohn; and Williamson.Jessica Brown - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-13.
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  • A Justification for Excuses: Brown’s Discussion of the Knowledge View of Justification and the Excuse Manoeuvre.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-14.
    Abstract: In Fallibilism: Evidence and Knowledge, Jessica Brown identifies a number of problems for the so-called knowledge view of justification. According to this (unorthodox) view, we cannot justifiably believe what we do not know. Most epistemologists reject this view on the grounds that false beliefs can be justified if, say, supported by the evidence or produced by reliable processes. We think this is a mistake and that many epistemologists are (mistakenly) classifying beliefs as justified because they have properties that indicate (...)
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  • Knowledge and Reasoning.Mona Simion - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3):10371-10388.
    This paper develops a novel, functionalist, unified account of the epistemic normativity of reasoning. On this view, epistemic norms drop out of epistemic functions. I argue that practical reasoning serves a prudential function of generating prudentially permissible action, and the epistemic function of generating knowledge of what one ought to do. This picture, if right, goes a long way towards normatively divorcing action and practical reasoning. At the same time, it unifies reasoning epistemically: practical and theoretical reasoning will turn out (...)
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  • The Legend of the Justified True Belief Analysis.Julien Dutant - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):95-145.
    There is a traditional conception of knowledge but it is not the Justified True Belief analysis Gettier attacked. On the traditional view, knowledge consists in having a belief that bears a discernible mark of truth. A mark of truth is a truth-entailing property: a property that only true beliefs can have. It is discernible if one can always tell that a belief has it, that is, a sufficiently attentive subject believes that a belief has it if and only if it (...)
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Perspective-Dependent?Davide Fassio - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3253-3283.
    This paper focuses on the relation between epistemic reasons and the subject’s epistemic perspective. It tackles the questions of whether epistemic reasons are dependent on the perspective of the subject they are reasons for, and if so, whether they are dependent on the actual or the potential perspective. It is argued that epistemic reasons are either independent or minimally dependent on the subject’s epistemic perspective. In particular, I provide three arguments supporting the conclusion that epistemic reasons are not dependent on (...)
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  • No Excuses for Moral Realism.Hanno Sauer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):553-578.
    Many believe that there is at least some asymmetry between the extent to which moral and non-moral ignorance excuse. I argue that the exculpatory force of moral ignorance—or lack thereof—poses a thus far overlooked challenge to moral realism. I show, firstly, that if there were any mind-independent moral truths, we would not expect there to be an asymmetry in exculpatory force between moral and ordinary ignorance at all. I then consider several attempts the realist might make to deny or accommodate (...)
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  • Is There an Epistemic Norm of Practical Reasoning?Davide Fassio - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2137-2166.
    A recent view in contemporary epistemology holds that practical reasoning is governed by an epistemic norm. Evidence for the existence of this norm is provided by the ways in which we assess our actions and reasoning on the basis of whether certain epistemic conditions are satisfied. Philosophers disagree on what this norm is—whether it is knowledge, justified belief or something else. Nobody however challenges the claim that practical reasoning is governed by such a norm. I argue that assuming the existence (...)
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  • Reasons for Action, Acting for Reasons, and Rationality.Maria Alvarez - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3293-3310.
    What kind of thing is a reason for action? What is it to act for a reason? And what is the connection between acting for a reason and rationality? There is controversy about the many issues raised by these questions. In this paper I shall answer the first question with a conception of practical reasons that I call ‘Factualism’, which says that all reasons are facts. I defend this conception against its main rival, Psychologism, which says that practical reasons are (...)
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  • Against Belief Closure.Lina M. Lissia - manuscript
    I argue that we should solve the Lottery Paradox by denying that rational belief is closed under classical logic. To reach this conclusion, I build on my previous result that (a slight variant of) McGee’s election scenario is a lottery scenario (see Lissia 2019). Indeed, this result implies that the sensible ways to deal with McGee’s scenario are the same as the sensible ways to deal with the lottery scenario: we should either reject the Lockean Thesis or Belief Closure. After (...)
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  • A Plea for Epistemic Excuses.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch Julien Dutant (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem. Oxford University Press.
    The typical epistemology course begins with a discussion of the distinction between justification and knowledge and ends without any discussion of the distinction between justification and excuse. This is unfortunate. If we had a better understanding of the justification-excuse distinction, we would have a better understanding of the intuitions that shape the internalism-externalism debate. My aims in this paper are these. First, I will explain how the kinds of excuses that should interest epistemologists exculpate. Second, I will explain why the (...)
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  • Basic Knowledge First.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2017 - Episteme 14 (3):343-361.
    An infuential twenty-first century philosophical project posits a central role for knowledge: knowledge is more fundamental than epistemic states like belief and justification. So-called “knowledge first” theorists find support for this thought in identifying central theoretical roles for knowledge. I argue that a similar methodology supports a privileged role for more specific category of basic knowledge. Some of the roles that knowledge first theorists have posited for knowledge generally are better suited for basic knowledge.
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  • Objectivism and Subjectivism in Epistemology.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    There is a kind of objectivism in epistemology that involves the acceptance of objective epistemic norms. It is generally regarded as harmless. There is another kind of objectivism in epistemology that involves the acceptance of an objectivist account of justification, one that takes the justification of a belief to turn on its accuracy. It is generally regarded as hopeless. It is a strange and unfortunate sociological fact that these attitudes are so prevalent. Objectivism about norms and justification stand or fall (...)
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  • Internalism, Factivity, and Sufficient Reason.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2018 - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    How radical is the idea that reasons are factive? Some philosophers consider it a dramatic departure from orthodoxy, with surprising implications about the bearing of the external world on what credences it’s reasonable to have, what beliefs are epistemically appropriate, and what actions are rational. I deny these implications. In the cases where external matters imply differences in factive states, there will inevitably be important weaker factive states in common. For example, someone who knows it is raining has many factive (...)
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  • How and Why Knowledge is First.Clayton Littlejohn - 2017 - In A. Carter, E. Gordon & B. Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First. Oxford University Press. pp. 19-45.
    A defense of the idea that knowledge is first in the sense that there is nothing prior to knowledge that puts reasons or evidence in your possession. Includes a critical discussion of the idea that perception or perceptual experience might provide reasons and a defense of a knowledge-first approach to justified belief.
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  • O Que É Agência Epistêmica, Afinal?Doraci Engel - 2017 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 62 (3):540.
    Neste artigo examino a possibilidade de agência no domínio epistêmico – a visão compartilhada por muitos filósofos de que possamos ser ativos, ao invés de passivos, em relação às nossas crenças e manifestações de conhecimento. Concluo que a noção de agência epistêmica é plausível apenas em sentido indireto, referindo-se as diferentes ações que realizamos com intuito de melhorar nossos compromissos epistêmicos. Trata-se de um tipo de agência prática, como qualquer agência, mas que não nos autoriza a pensar que possamos estar (...)
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  • Just Do It? When to Do What You Judge You Ought to Do.Julien Dutant & Clayton Littlejohn - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3755-3772.
    While it is generally believed that justification is a fallible guide to the truth, there might be interesting exceptions to this general rule. In recent work on bridge-principles, an increasing number of authors have argued that truths about what a subject ought to do are truths we stand in some privileged epistemic relation to and that our justified normative beliefs are beliefs that will not lead us astray. If these bridge-principles hold, it suggests that justification might play an interesting role (...)
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  • Should We Be Dogmatically Conciliatory?Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1381-1398.
    A familiar complaint about conciliatory approaches to disagreement is that they are self-defeating or incoherent because they ‘call for their own rejection’. This complaint seems to be influential but it isn’t clear whether conciliatory views call for their own rejection or what, if anything, this tells us about the coherence of such views. We shall look at two ways of developing this self-defeat objection and we shall see that conciliatory views emerge unscathed. A simple version of the self-defeat objection leaves (...)
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  • Rationality, Appearances, and Apparent Facts.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (2).
    Ascriptions of rationality are related to our practices of praising and criticizing. This seems to provide motivation for normative accounts of rationality, more specifically for the view that rationality is a matter of responding to normative reasons. However, rational agents are sometimes guided by false beliefs. This is problematic for those reasons-based accounts of rationality that are also committed to the widespread thesis that normative reasons are facts. The critical aim of the paper is to present objections to recent proposed (...)
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  • The Epistemic Condition for Moral Responsibility.Fernando Rudy-Hiller - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An encyclopedia article on the epistemic or knowledge condition for moral responsibility, written for the SEP.
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  • Revisionary Epistemology.Davide Fassio & Robin McKenna - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):755-779.
    What is knowledge? What should knowledge be like? Call an epistemological project that sets out to answer the first question ‘descriptive’ and a project that sets out to answer the second question ‘normative’. If the answers to these two questions don’t coincide—if what knowledge should be like differs from what knowledge is like—there is room for a third project we call ‘revisionary’. A revisionary project starts by arguing that what knowledge should be differs from what knowledge is. It then proposes (...)
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