Practical reasons to believe, epistemic reasons to act, and the baffled action theorist

Philosophical Issues 33 (1):22-32 (2023)
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Abstract

I argue that unless belief is voluntary in a very strict sense – that is, unless credence is simply under our direct control – there can be no practical reasons to believe. I defend this view against recent work by Susanna Rinard. I then argue that for very similar reasons, barring the truth of strict doxastic voluntarism, there cannot be epistemic reasons to act, only purely practical reasons possessed by those whose goal is attaining knowledge or justified belief.

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Nomy Arpaly
Brown University

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