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Logos & Episteme

Volume 4, Issue 3, 2013

Clayton Littlejohn
Pages 353-360

Are Epistemic Reasons Ever Reasons to Promote?

In trying to distinguish the right kinds of reasons from the wrong, epistemologists often appeal to the connection to truth to explain why practical considerations cannot constitute reasons. The view they typically opt for is one on which only evidence can constitute a reason to believe. Brian Talbot has shown that these approaches don’t exclude the possibility that there are non-evidential reasons for belief that can justify a belief without being evidence for that belief. He thinks that there are indeed such reasons and that they are the right kind of reasons to justify belief. The existence of such truth promoting non-epistemic reasons is said to follow from the fact that we have an epistemic end that involves the attainment of true belief. I shall argue that there are no such reasons precisely because there is an epistemic end that has normative authority.

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