Philosophical Studies

, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 257-272

First online:

The possibility of pragmatic reasons for belief and the wrong kind of reasons problem

  • Andrew ReisnerAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, McGill University Email author 

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In this paper I argue against the stronger of the two views concerning the right and wrong kind of reasons for belief, i.e. the view that the only genuine normative reasons for belief are evidential. The project in this paper is primarily negative, but with an ultimately positive aim. That aim is to leave room for the possibility that there are genuine pragmatic reasons for belief. Work is required to make room for this view, because evidentialism of a strict variety remains the default view in much of the debate concerning normative reasons for belief. Strict versions of evidentialism are inconsistent with the view that there are genuine pragmatic reasons for belief.


Wrong kind of reasons Reasons for belief Evidentialism Theoretical reason Normativity Reasons Pragmatism