Evidentialism in action

Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3409-3426 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Sometimes it is practically beneficial to believe what is epistemically unwarranted. Philosophers have taken these cases to raise the question are there practical reasons for belief? Evidentialists argue that there cannot be any such reasons. Putative practical reasons for belief are not reasons for belief, but reasons to manage our beliefs in a particular way. Pragmatists are not convinced. They accept that some reasons for belief are practical. The debate, it is widely thought, is at an impasse. But this debate fails to address what is puzzling and interesting about the cases. By focusing on reasons for belief, the debate completely overlooks the role of action in relation to belief. We should be talking about the reasons for actions that shape our beliefs, which I will call belief management. I argue for three related theses: the interesting cases that motivate the debate are about belief management; Evidentialism is irrelevant to belief management; agents have practical reasons to manage their beliefs with the aim of forming true beliefs. These reasons are categorical in nature and result in the tension of conflict cases.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,122

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Transparency and the ethics of belief.Christopher Howard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1191-1201.
In Defense of Practical Reasons for Belief.Stephanie Leary - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):529-542.
The Game of Belief.Barry Maguire & Jack Woods - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):211-249.
Two Arguments for Evidentialism.Jonathan Way - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):805-818.
Reasons for action and reasons for belief.Christopher Tollefsen - 2006 - Social Epistemology 20 (1):55 – 65.
The Ethics of Belief.Berislav Marušić - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):33-43.
A Short Refutation of Strict Normative Evidentialism.Andrew E. Reisner - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (5):1-9.
Doxastic coercion.Benjamin McMyler - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):537-557.


Added to PP

131 (#132,853)

6 months
14 (#131,799)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

A. K. Flowerree
Texas Tech University

Citations of this work

Pursuit and inquisitive reasons.Will Fleisher - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 94 (C):17-30.
Epistemic Schmagency?A. K. Flowerree - 2018 - In Christos Kyriacou & Robin McKenna (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 289-310.
Moral encroachment and the ideal of unified agency.Cory Davia - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 26 (2):179-196.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Slaves of the passions.Mark Andrew Schroeder - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 65 references / Add more references