Pragmatism, Truth, and Cognitive Agency

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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The main objection to pragmatism about knowledge is that it entails that truth-irrelevant factors can make a difference to knowledge. Blake Roeber (2018) has recently argued that this objection fails. I agree with Roeber. But in this paper, I present another way of thinking about the dispute between purists and pragmatists about knowledge. I do so by formulating a new objection to pragmatism about knowledge. This is that pragmatism about knowledge entails that factors irrelevant to both truth and “cognitive agency” can make a difference to knowledge. An interesting additional upshot of my argument is the connection revealed between the debate between pragmatists and purists about knowledge, and the debate between “alethists” and pragmatists about reasons for belief.

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Cameron Boult
Brandon University


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