Believable Normative Error Theory

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (2):208-223 (2022)
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Abstract

Normative error theory is thought by some to be unbelievable because they suppose the incompatibility of believing a proposition at the same time as believing that one has no normative reason to believe it—which believing in normative error theory would seem to involve. In this article, I argue that normative holism is believable and that a normative holist will believe that the truth of a proposition does not invariably generate a normative reason to believe it. I outline five different scenarios in which this is believably the case. I then show how each example can be used to generate a counterexample to the incompatibility claim. I conclude that believing a proposition is compatible with believing there is no reason to believe it and that as such normative error theory has not yet been shown to be unbelievable.

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Gerald K. Harrison
Massey University

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References found in this work

Practical Reason and Norms.Joseph Raz - 1975 - Law and Philosophy 12 (3):329-343.
Blindspots.Roy Sorensen - 1990 - Mind 99 (393):137-140.
Does thought imply ought?Krister Bykvist & Anandi Hattiangadi - 2007 - Analysis 67 (4):277–285.
Does belief (only) aim at the truth?Daniel Whiting - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2):279-300.
Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite.Thomas Kelly - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465-474.

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