Believing for a Reason is (at least) Nearly Self-Intimating

Erkenntnis (2022)
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This paper concerns a specific epistemic feature of believing for a reason (e.g., believing that it will rain on the basis of the grey clouds outside). It has commonly been assumed that our access to such facts about ourselves is akin in all relevant respects to our access to why other people hold their beliefs. Further, discussion of self-intimation - that we are necessarily in a position to know when we are in certain conditions - has centred largely around mental states. In contrast to both assumptions, this paper argues that believing for a reason is (at least) very nearly self-intimating: necessarily, if a subject believes that q for the reason that p, then, provided relevant conceptual and rational capacities, she is in a position to form a justified true belief that she believes that q for the reason that p. We should think this on the basis of the role that believing for a reason plays from the subjects’ perspective, and in particular, the way in which it intellegises one’s belief.

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Sophie Keeling
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia


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