The game of belief

Barry Maguire, Jack Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

It is plausible that there is a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there is a range of practical reasons bearing on belief. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. To resolve the tension, the authors draw on an analogy with a similar distinction between types of reasons for actions in the context of activities. This motivates a two-level account of the structure of normativity. The account relies upon a further distinction between normative reasons and authoritatively normative reasons. Only the latter constitutively play the functional role of explaining what state one just plain ought to be in. The authors conjecture that all and only practical reasons are authoritative. Hence, in one important sense, all reasons for belief are practical reasons. But this account also preserves the autonomy and importance of epistemic reasons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-249
JournalThe Philosophical Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • pragmatism
  • evidentialism
  • wrong kind of reasons
  • authoritative normativity


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