Truth promoting non-evidential reasons for belief

Philosophical Studies 168 (3):599-618 (2014)
Brian Talbot
University of Colorado, Boulder
Sometimes a belief that p promotes having true beliefs, whether or not p is true. This gives reasons to believe that p, but most epistemologists would deny that it gives epistemic reasons, or that these reasons can epistemically justify the belief that p. Call these reasons to believe “truth promoting non-evidential reasons for belief.” This paper argues that three common views in epistemology, taken together, entail that reasons of this sort can epistemically justify beliefs. These three claims are: epistemic oughts are normative, epistemic oughts have a source, and the source of epistemic oughts is an end that has true belief as a necessary component. These claims would be hard for many epistemologists to deny, but accepting them, and thus accepting that truth promoting non-evidential reasons can justify beliefs, has significant consequences for epistemology. The paper considers accounts of epistemic oughts that endorse these claims but might seem to avoid the consequence that truth promoting non-evidential reasons generate real epistemic oughts, and shows that none do
Keywords Epistemology  Reasons  Evidence  Belief  Normativity
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0139-1
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Belief's Own Ethics.J. Adler - 2002 - MIT Press.

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Teleological Epistemology.Jane Friedman - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-19.

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