Do Reasons and Evidence Share the Same Residence

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):720-727 (2016)
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This is part of an authors meets critics session on Daniel Star's wonderful book, Knowing Better. I discuss a potential problem with Kearns and Star's Reasons as Evidence thesis. The issue has to do with the difficulties we face is we treat normative reasons as evidence and impose no possession conditions on evidence. On such a view, it's hard to see how practical reasoning could be a non-monotonic process. One way out of the difficulty would be to allow for (potent) unpossessed reasons but insist that all evidence is possessed evidence. This option, I argue, isn't open to proponents of the Reasons as Evidence thesis. Instead, it seems that they'll have to say that all normative reasons are identified with pieces of possessed evidence. This requires the proponents of the Reasons as Evidence thesis to impose epistemic constraints on norms that some of us find objectionable.

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Author's Profile

Clayton Littlejohn
Australian Catholic University

Citations of this work

Revisiting the Argument from Action Guidance.Philip Fox - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (3).
Reasoning with Reasons.Daniel Star - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 241-59.
Companions in Guilt Arguments and Moore's Paradox.Michael Campbell - 2017 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (2):151-173.
Reasons As Evidence Against Ought-Nots.Kok Yong Lee - 2021 - Philosophical Papers 49 (3):431-455.

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References found in this work

Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action.Maria Alvarez - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The domain of reasons.John Skorupski - 2010 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Norm of Belief.John Gibbons - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Russellian Retreat.Clayton Littlejohn - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):293-320.

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