The Epistemic Benefits of Reason Giving

Theory and Psychology 19 (5):1-22 (2009)
Abstract
There is an apparent tension in current accounts of the relationship between reason giving and self knowledge. On the one hand, philosophers like Richard Moran (2001) claim that deliberation and justification can give rise to first-person authority over the attitudes that subjects form or defend on the basis of what they take to be their best reasons. On the other hand, the psychological evidence on the introspection effects and the literature on elusive reasons suggest that engaging in explicit deliberation or justification leads subjects to report attitudes that are not consistent with their previous attitudes or with their future behavior. On the basis of these findings, Tim Wilson (2002) argues that analyzing reasons compromises self knowledge. I shall defend a realistic account of the effects of reason giving which is compatible with the empirical findings on introspection and also with the claim that deliberation and justification have epistemic benefits.
Keywords authorship  beliefs  rationality
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