, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 17-27
Date: 21 Sep 2006

Weighing pragmatic and evidential reasons for belief

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In this paper I argue that we can give a plausible account of how to compare pragmatic and evidential normative reasons for belief. The account I offer is given in the form of a ‘defeasing function’. This function allows for a sophisticated comparison of the two types of reasons without assigning complex features to the logical structures of either type of reason.

I would like to thank John Broome, Stewart Cohen, Roger Crisp, Jonathan Dancy, Brie Gertler, and Iwao Hirose for their comments on earlier versions of this material. A number of revisions have also been made as a result of helpful questions raised during presentations of this paper at Arizona State University, McGill University, and the University of Virginia.