Erkenntnis 79 (1):191-209 (2014)

Christopher Cowie
Cambridge University
It is often thought that the correct metaphysics and epistemology of reasons will be broadly unified across different kinds of reason: reasons for belief, and reasons for action. This approach is sometimes thought to be undermined by the contrasting natures of belief and of action: whereas belief appears to have the ‘constitutive aim’ of truth (or knowledge), action does not appear to have any such constitutive aim. I develop this disanalogy into a novel challenge to metanormative approaches by thinking about disagreement. The constitutive aim of belief can play a role in adjudicating epistemic disagreements for which there is no analogue in practical disagreements. Consequently, we have more reason, all else being equal, to expect convergence in epistemic judgment than in practical judgment. This represents a prima facie challenge to the metanormative theorist because the extent of (suitably specified) disagreement in an area of thought is of prima facie significance for the metaphysics of that area of thought.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9485-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,172
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.

View all 53 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Why Companions in Guilt Arguments Won't Work.C. Cowie - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):407-422.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Who is an Epistemic Peer?Axel Gelfert - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):507-514.
Possible Disagreements and Defeat.Brandon Carey - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (3):371-381.
A Puzzle About Belief Updating.Carlo Martini - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3149-3160.
'Partial Defeaters' and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Michael Thune - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):355-372.
The Moral Evil Demons.Ralph Wedgwood - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford University Press.
A Justificationist View of Disagreement’s Epistemic Significance.Jennifer Lackey - 2008 - In Alan Millar Adrian Haddock & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 145-154.
Discovering Disagreeing Epistemic Peers and Superiors.Bryan Frances - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (1):1 - 21.
What Should We Do When We Disagree?Jennifer Lackey - 2008 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology Volume 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 274-93.


Added to PP index

Total views
89 ( #132,361 of 2,517,896 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #272,378 of 2,517,896 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes