Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy

Tommaso Piazza

University of Pavia & LanCog

The Many Ways of The Basing Relation

22 June 2018, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: S’s belief that P is said to be doxastically justified if and only if S believes that P and this belief is based on a reason that provides S with propositional justification for P. Depending on the (doxastic or non-doxastic) nature of the reason that provides S with justification for P, the process whereby S bases her belief that P can take a different form. If it is a non-doxastic reason, like an experience that P, S forms the belief as a spontaneous non-inferential response to her having the experience. If it is a belief, to base a second belief on the first is to infer the content of the second from the content of the first. The distinction between these two basic ways in which a belief of S may be based on a reason is implicit in much epistemological literature but, I contend in this paper, non-exhaustive. In fact there are cases, somewhat surprisingly disregaded by the extant epistemological literature, where a subject has a doxastically justified belief which has not been formed on the basis of the subject’s reasons in any of the ways described above. To accommodate these cases I define and deploy the novel notion of a non-doxastic inference, and defend the claim that one can base a belief on a non-doxastic state also by inferring a belief from it in this sense.