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NormativityEpistemic and Practical$
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Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way, and Daniel Whiting

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758709

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198758709.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

Evidence and Its Limits

Evidence and Its Limits

(p.115) 6 Evidence and Its Limits

Clayton Littlejohn

Oxford University Press

On a standard way of thinking about the relationships between evidence, reasons, and epistemic justification, a subject’s evidence consists of her potential reasons for her beliefs, these reasons constitute the normative reasons that bear on whether to believe, and justification is taken to result from relations between a subject’s potential reasons for her beliefs and those beliefs. This chapter argues that this view makes a number of mistakes about the rational roles of reasons and evidence and explores some parallels between practical and theoretical reasons. Just as justified action is unobjectionable action, justified belief is unobjectionable belief. Just as you cannot object to someone deciding to do something simply on the grounds that their reasons for acting didn’t give them strong reason to act, you cannot object to someone believing something simply on the grounds that they didn’t believe for reasons that gave their beliefs strong evidential support.

Keywords:   evidence, reasons, justification, norms, basis problem

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