Philosophical Perspectives 35 (forthcoming)

Authors
Julia Staffel
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
Epistemologists routinely distinguish between two kinds of justification or rationality – the propositional and the doxastic kind – in order to characterize importantly different ways in which an attitude can be justified or rational for a person. I argue that these notions, as they are commonly understood, are well suited to capture rationality judgments about the attitudes that agents reach as conclusions of their reasoning. Yet, these notions are ill-suited to capture rationality judgments about attitudes that agents form while their reasoning is still in progress. In fact, we currently lack any suitable theory of rationality that lets us capture the ways in which we evaluate the rationality of such transitional attitudes, even though they are ubiquitous. I propose to capture these rationality judgments by introducing a new notion of rationality that is orthogonal to the propositional/doxastic distinction, which I call pro tem rationality. This new notion can be integrated with both traditional and formal ways of characterizing rationality or justification. It can be used to enlighten debates about logical and empirical learning, higher-order evidence, and the epistemology of philosophy, among others.
Keywords Rationality  Reasoning  Justification  higher order evidence  Bayesianism  transitional attitude  conclusion  deliberation  metacognition
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