The dispositional architecture of epistemic reasons
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Epistemic reasons are meant to provide justification for beliefs. In this paper, I will be concerned with the requirements that have to be met if reasons are to discharge this function. It is widely recognized, however, that only possessed reasons can justify beliefs and actions. But what are the conditions that have to be satisfied in order for one to possess reasons? I shall begin by motivating a particular condition, namely, the ‘treating’ requirement that has been deemed to be necessary for possessing reasons. In Sect. 1, I explain and criticize some of the existing accounts of the treating requirement for reason-possession. In Sect. 2, I will suggest a dispositional account of reason-possession in which the treating condition features prominently. Section 3 will deal with the some of the consequences of this account for such issues as the structure of epistemic defeat, the immediacy of perceptual justification and logical knowledge.
KeywordsReasons Epistemic reasons Treating requirement Dispositions
I would like to thank an anonymous referee of this journal for extremely helpful comments. Thanks also to Ruth Chang, Robert Audi, Muhammad Legenhausen and Tim Williamson for valuable comments and feedback on earlier drafts of this paper.
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