Policy Externalism

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3) (2017)
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I develop and argue for a kind of externalism about certain kinds of non-doxastic attitudes that I call policy externalism. Policy externalism about a given type of attitude is the view that all the reasonable policies for having attitudes of that type will not involve the agent's beliefs that some relevant conditions obtain. My defense primarily involves attitudes like hatred, regret, and admiration, and has two parts: a direct deductive argument and an indirect linguistic argument, an inference to the best explanation of some strange ways we use certain conditionals. The main thought throughout is that attitudes we reason with, like belief, are very different from attitudes we don't reason with, in a way that constrains the former but not the latter. Finally, I investigate some consequences of policy externalism, including that it secures the possibility of genuine conditional apologies.


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