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The Laws of BeliefRanking Theory and Its Philosophical Applications$
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Wolfgang Spohn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697502

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697502.001.0001

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 Reasons and Apriority

 Reasons and Apriority

(p.104) 6 Reasons and Apriority
The Laws of Belief

Wolfgang Spohn

Oxford University Press

Conditional ranks also allow explicating a subjective notion of (deductive or non-deductive) reason, i.e., positive relevance, which is at the base of all current notions of (theoretical) reasons. The chapter introduces and defends this explication; it distinguishes sufficient, necessary, insufficient, and supererogatory reasons (in an unconditional and a conditional version); it states the formal behavior of reasons thus explicated; it explains how such reasons can be weighed; and it shows that it is reasons precisely in this sense that drive the dynamics of belief. Moreover, it explains what maximal certainty and unrevisability mean in ranking-theoretic terms and thus provides a dynamic approach to two notions of apriority: (traditional) unrevisable apriority and so-called defeasible apriority.

Keywords:   reasons, balance of reasons, belief change, unrevisable apriority, defeasible apriority

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