Rationalizing beliefs: evidential vs. pragmatic reasons

Synthese 176 (3):447 - 462 (2010)
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40801389
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Kelly (2003). Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

186 ( #9,882 of 1,725,950 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

14 ( #49,984 of 1,725,950 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.