Indirect epistemic reasons and religious belief

Religious Studies 53 (2):151-169 (2017)
Authors
Robert Mark Simpson
University College London
Abstract
If believing P will result in epistemically good outcomes, does this generate an epistemic reason to believe P, or just a pragmatic reason? Conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons seems to lead to absurdity, e.g. by allowing that someone can rationally hold beliefs that conflict with her assessment of her evidence’s probative force. We explain how this and other intuitively unwelcome results can be avoided. We also suggest a positive case for conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons, namely, that they exhibit a form of interpersonal normative parity that’s typical of epistemic reasons but not pragmatic reasons. We then link this discussion to religious belief, suggesting that there are sometimes indirect epistemic reasons for religious belief, and that certain characterisations of religious belief are instructive in thinking about how to take account of indirect epistemic reasons.
Keywords Rationality  Epistemic Consequentialism
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412516000202
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References found in this work BETA

What Do Philosophers Believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.
Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
Epistemic Permissiveness.Roger White - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):445–459.

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