Epistemic Reasons I: Normativity

Philosophy Compass 11 (7):364-376 (2016)

Abstract

This paper is an opinionated guide to the literature on normative epistemic reasons. After making some distinctions in §1, I begin in §2 by discussing the ontology of normative epistemic reasons, assessing arguments for and against the view that they are mental states, and concluding that they are not mental states. In §3, I examine the distinction between normative epistemic reasons there are and normative epistemic reasons we possess. I offer a novel account of this distinction and argue that we in fact ought to acknowledge a threefold distinction between objective, possessed, and apparent normative epistemic reasons. In §4, I discuss the question of which normative reasons for doxastic attitudes are the epistemic ones, evaluating reasons against a simple evidentialist answer. Finally, in §5, I look at the role of reasons in epistemology, considering challenges to viewing reasons as the building blocks of epistemic normativity and maintaining that the challenges recommend a novel bi-level epistemology rather than a marginalization of reasons in epistemology.

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Author's Profile

Kurt Sylvan
University of Southampton

References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge.Alvin Goldman - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Knowledge and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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Citations of this work

Knowledge as a Non‐Normative Relation.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):190-222.
In Defense of Constitutivism About Epistemic Normativity.David Horst - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):232-258.

View all 30 citations / Add more citations

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