Synthese

, Volume 190, Issue 17, pp 3865–3888

Acting for reasons, apt action, and knowledge

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-012-0230-8

Cite this article as:
Mantel, S. Synthese (2013) 190: 3865. doi:10.1007/s11229-012-0230-8

Abstract

I argue for the view that there are important similarities between knowledge and acting for a normative reason. I interpret acting for a normative reason in terms of Sosa’s notion of an apt performance. Actions that are done for a normative reason are normatively apt actions. They are in accordance with a normative reason because of a competence to act in accordance with normative reasons. I argue that, if Sosa’s account of knowledge as apt belief is correct, this means that acting for a normative reason is in many respects similar to knowledge. In order to strengthen Sosa’s account of knowledge, I propose to supplement it with an appeal to sub-competences. This clarifies how this account can deal with certain Gettier cases, and it helps to understand how exactly acting for a normative reason is similar to apt belief.

Keywords

Acting for reasonsActing for a normative reasonGettier problemKnowledgeApt beliefNormative reasonsExplanationCompetence Virtue epistemology Apt action

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophisches InstitutUniversität des SaarlandesSaarbrückenGermany