, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 47-70

Reasons for Belief, Reasoning, Virtues

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ABSTRACT

The paper offers an explanation of what reasons for belief are, following Paul Grice in focusing on the roles of reasons in the goal-directed activity of reasoning. Reasons are particularly salient considerations that we use as indicators of the truth of beliefs and candidates for belief. Reasons are distinguished from enabling conditions by being things that we should be able to attend to in the course of our reasoning, and in assessing how well our beliefs are supported. The final section argues that epistemic virtues have a role in enabling us to identify reasons and explores this by reference to the example of being observant.