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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 11603
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   Rationalizing Beliefs: Evidential vs. Pragmatic Reasons
  Author(s):  H. Vahid
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Synthese
  Vol.:  176
  Year:  2010
  Pages:   447-462
  Supported by:  IPM
  Abstract:
Beliefs can be evaluated from a number of perspectives. Epistemic evaluation involves epistemic standards and appropriate epistemic goals. On a truth-conducive account of epistemic justification, a justified belief is one that serves the goal of believing truths and avoiding falsehoods. Beliefs are also prompted by non-epistemic reasons. This raises the question of whether, say, the pragmatic benefits of a belief are able to rationalize it. In this paper, after criticizing certain responses to this question, I shall argue that, as far as beliefs are concerned, justification has an essentially epistemic character. This conclusion is then qualified by considering the conditions under which pragmatic consequences of a belief can be epistemically relevant.

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