Which Mental States Are Rationally Evaluable, And Why?

Philosophical Issues 25 (1):41-63 (2015)
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What makes certain mental states subject to evaluation with respect to norms of rationality and justification, and others arational? In this paper, I develop and defend an account that explains why belief is governed by, and so appropriately subject to, evaluation with respect to norms of rationality and justification, one that does justice to the complexity of our evaluative practice in this domain. Then, I sketch out a way of extending the account to explain when and why other kinds of mental states are rationally evaluable. I argue that the cognitive or psychological mechanisms that give rise to and sustain our mental states help to render our mental states appropriate targets for evaluation with respect to norms of rationality and justification when the operation of these mechanisms is responsive, in a specific way, to our judgments about which kinds of considerations constitute rationalizing and justifying reasons for being in states of the relevant sort.



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Kate Nolfi
University of Vermont

Citations of this work

Varieties of Inference?Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
Rational hope.Miriam Schleifer McCormick - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):127-141.
Emotions, Attitudes, and Reasons.Kelly Epley - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):256-282.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

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