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False Beliefs and the Reasons We Don't Have

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Factive Turn in Epistemology
EditorsVeli Mitova
PublisherCambridge University Press, Cambridge
ISBN (Electronic)9781316818992
ISBN (Print)9781316622018
Accepted/In press30 Mar 2017
E-pub ahead of printFeb 2018


King's Authors


Recent debates about reasons has led to a consensus that reasons for acting or believing –‘normative reasons’– are facts. Some authors, ‘anti-factualists’, have argued that we should take the factive turn if the topic is the normative reasons that there are for someone to do something but not, if the topic is the normative reasons one has, since those may be false beliefs. I argue that the distinction between reasons there are and reasons one has doesn’t support this anti-factualist case. I also argue that, contrary to what its detractors say, factualism can explain why agents who act on false beliefs often act rationally. The conclusion is that these arguments don’t show that anyone has a reason to abandon 'factualism'.

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