Evidence and rationalization

Philosophical Studies 177 (3):845-864 (2020)
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Suppose that you have to take a test tomorrow but you do not want to study. Unfortunately you should study, since you care about passing and you expect to pass only if you study. Is there anything you can do to make it the case that you should not study? Is there any way for you to ‘rationalize’ slacking off? I suggest that such rationalization is impossible. Then I show that if evidential decision theory is true, rationalization is not only possible but sometimes advisable.

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Ian Wells
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


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