An alternative account of epistemic reasons for action : in response to Booth

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Journal article

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Grazer Philosophische Studien

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In a recent contribution to Grazer Philosophische Studien, Booth argues that for S to have an epistemic reason to ψ means that if S ψ's then he will have more true beliefs and less false beliefs than if he does not ψ. After strengthening this external account in response to the objection that one can improve one's epistemic state in other fashions, e.g. by having a gain in true beliefs which outweighs one's gain in false beliefs, I provide a challenge to it. My main objection, which I advance with the aid of several examples, is that such epistemic reasons could not motivate any action whatsoever. I close by developing an alternative account, which avoids this problem by appeal to internal considerations.

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Rowbottom, D. P. (2008). An alternative account of epistemic reasons for action: In response to Booth. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 76(1), 191-198.