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

A. K. Flowerree
Texas Tech University
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.
Keywords ethics of belief  evidentialism  pragmatism  practical reasons for belief  philosophy of action
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01376-z
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Being Realistic About Reasons.T. M. Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Epistemic Schmagency?A. K. Flowerree - 2018 - In Christos Kyriacou & Robin McKenna (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 289-310.

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