Erkenntnis

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 353–374 | Cite as

Reasons and Entailment

Article

Abstract

What is the relation between entailment and reasons for belief? In this paper, I discuss several answers to this question, and I argue that these answers all face problems. I then propose the following answer: for all propositions p1,…,pn and q, if the conjunction of p1,…, and pn entails q, then there is a reason against a person’s both believing that p1,…, and that pn and believing the negation of q. I argue that this answer avoids the problems that the other answers to this question face, and that it does not face any other problems either. I end by showing what the relation between deductive logic, reasons for belief and reasoning is if this answer is correct.

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Notes

Acknowledgements

For helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper, I would like to thank an anonymous referee for this journal, William Knorpp, Stephen Butterfill, and an audience at the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association at the University of Manchester.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy University of ReadingReadingUK

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