No Exception for Belief

Susanna Rinard
Harvard University
This paper defends a principle I call Equal Treatment, according to which the rationality of a belief is determined in precisely the same way as the rationality of any other state. For example, if wearing a raincoat is rational just in case doing so maximizes expected value, then believing some proposition P is rational just in case doing so maximizes expected value. This contrasts with the popular view that the rationality of belief is determined by evidential support. It also contrasts with the common idea that in the case of belief, there are two different incommensurable senses of rationality, one of which is distinctively epistemic. I present considerations that favor Equal Treatment over these two alternatives, reply to objections, and criticize some arguments for Evidentialism. I also show how Equal Treatment opens the door to a distinctive kind of response to skepticism.
Keywords Ethics of Belief  Pragmatism  Pragmatic Reasons for Belief  Rationality  Epistemic Rationality  Doxastic Involuntarism  Evidentialism  Practical Rationality  Skepticism
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DOI 10.1111/phpr.12229
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Problems of the Self.Bernard A. O. Williams - 1973 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
Belief in a Fallen World.Robert Pasnau - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (3):531-559.

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