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Logos & Episteme

Volume 3, Issue 1, 2012

Peter Baumann
Pages 7-26

Knowledge, Practical Reasoning and Action

Is knowledge necessary or sufficient or both necessary and sufficient for acceptable practical reasoning and rational action? Several authors (e.g., Williamson, Hawthorne, and Stanley) have recently argued that the answer to these questions is positive. In this paper I present several objections against this view (both in its basic form as well in more developed forms). I also offer a sketch of an alternative view: What matters for the acceptability of practical reasoning in at least many cases (and in all the cases discussed by the defenders of a strong link between knowledge and practical reasoning) is not so much knowledge but expected utility.

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