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Logos & Episteme

Volume 12, Issue 4, 2021

Tsung-Hsing Ho
Pages 427-436

Evidentialists’ Internalist Argument for Pragmatism

A popular evidentialist argument against pragmatism is based on reason internalism: the view that a normative reason for one to φ must be able to guide one in normative deliberation whether to φ. In the case of belief, this argument maintains that, when deliberating whether to believe p, one must deliberate whether p is true. Since pragmatic considerations cannot weigh in our deliberation whether p, the argument concludes that pragmatism is false. I argue that evidentialists fail to recognize that the question whether to φ is essentially the question whether one should φ. Furthermore, the question of whether one should believe p can be answered on pragmatic grounds. The internalist argument turns out to favor pragmatism.