Reasoning beyond belief acquisition

Noûs 56 (2):416-442 (2021)
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I argue that we can reason not only to new beliefs but to basically any change in attitude we can think of, including the abandonment of belief (contra John Broome), the acquisition of non-belief attitudes like relief and admiration, and the elimination of the same. To argue for this position, which I call generalism, I defend a sufficient condition on reasoning, roughly that we can reason to any change in attitude that is expressed by the conclusion of an argument we can be convinced by. I then produce examples of such arguments, and argue that they are indeed arguments. To produce such examples of the elimination of non-doxastic attitudes, I develop the idea of a state of attitudinal constraint acceptance, and show how it is useful for solving this problem, and useful in other parts of philosophy as well.

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Daniel Drucker
University of Texas at Austin


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