Epistemic Reasons II: Basing

Philosophy Compass 11 (7):377-389 (2016)

Authors
Kurt Sylvan
University of Southampton
Abstract
The paper is an opinionated tour of the literature on the reasons for which we hold beliefs and other doxastic attitudes, which I call ‘operative epistemic reasons’. After drawing some distinctions in §1, I begin in §2 by discussing the ontology of operative epistemic reasons, assessing arguments for and against the view that they are mental states. I recommend a pluralist non-mentalist view that takes seriously the variety of operative epistemic reasons ascriptions and allows these reasons to be both propositions and truth-making facts. In §3, I turn to consider what it takes for a consideration to be an operative epistemic reason, examining three conditions – the representational, treating, and explanatory conditions – that have been proposed. I offer a novel view about the explanatory condition. In §4, I discuss the special case of inferential operative reasons and examine attempts to understand them in terms of rule-following, sketching a competence-based spinoff of dispositionalism. Finally, in §5, I consider whether there are non-inferential operative reasons, observing that one needn't countenance them to be a foundationalist but then developing a view about what they are and how they do and don't differ from inferential reasons.
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12329
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References found in this work BETA

What is Justified Belief.Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
What is Inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2000 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
The Moral Problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):125-126.

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Citations of this work BETA

Against the Taking Condition.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):314-331.
Reasoning and Normative Beliefs: Not Too Sophisticated.Andreas Müller - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):2-15.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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