Rationalizing beliefs: evidential vs. pragmatic reasons

Synthese 176 (3):447 - 462 (2010)
Abstract
Beliefs can be evaluated from a number of perspectives. Epistemic evaluation involves epistemic standards and appropriate epistemic goals. On a truthconducive account of epistemic justification, a justified belief is one that serves the goal of believing truths and avoiding falsehoods. Beliefs are also prompted by nonepistemic reasons. This raises the question of whether, say, the pragmatic benefits of a belief are able to rationalize it. In this paper, after criticizing certain responses to this question, I shall argue that, as far as beliefs are concerned, justification has an essentially epistemic character. This conclusion is then qualified by considering the conditions under which pragmatic consequences of a belief can be epistemically relevant
Keywords Epistemic reasons  Pragmatic reasons  Blamelessness  Deontological justification  Charity
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References found in this work BETA
Donald Davidson (1970). How Is Weakness of the Will Possible? In Joel Feinberg (ed.), Moral Concepts. Oxford University Press.

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