Two Arguments for Evidentialism

Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):805-818 (2016)

Authors
Jonathan Way
University of Southampton
Abstract
Evidentialism is the thesis that all reasons to believe p are evidence for p. Pragmatists hold that pragmatic considerations – incentives for believing – can also be reasons to believe. Nishi Shah, Thomas Kelly and others have argued for evidentialism on the grounds that incentives for belief fail a ‘reasoning constraint’ on reasons: roughly, reasons must be considerations we can reason from, but we cannot reason from incentives to belief. In the first half of the paper, I show that this argument fails: the claim that we cannot reason from incentives is either false or does not combine with the reasoning constraint to support evidentialism. However, the failure of this argument suggests an alternative route to evidentialism. Roughly, reasons must be premises of good reasoning, but it is not good reasoning to reason from incentives to belief. The second half of the paper develops and defends this argument for evidentialism.
Keywords Evidentialism  Pragmatic Reasons for Belief  Reasons  Reasoning
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqw026
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Why Be Rational?Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):574-576.

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Citations of this work BETA

Deontological Evidentialism and Ought Implies Can.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2567-2582.
Equal Treatment for Belief.Susanna Rinard - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1923-1950.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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