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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In some circumstances, a wedge may be driven between what is advantageous or beneficial to believe and what is true. Cases range from the exotic—with diabolical forces conspiring to punish a hapless victim for believing the truth—to the mundane—with excessive optimism increasing one’s chances of success at some tasks. In contemporary discussions about normative reasons for belief, it is often argued or assumed that all reasons for belief arise only from epistemological considerations. This chapter assesses the case for the contrary claim: that there are genuine pragmatic reasons for belief. The chapter begins with a discussion of the standard arguments for and against non-ecumenical evidentialism. After concluding that case for non-ecumenical evidentialism is tenuous, the chapter canvasses and assesses the diverse range of arguments in favor of there being pragmatic reasons for belief.

Keywords: pragmatic reasons for belief, ethics of belief, reasons for belief, theoretical reason, normativity, evidentialism

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