Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2020-21, Session 24

Reasons in Deception
Artūrs Logins (University of Zürich)

14 May 2021, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+1) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & on Zoom

Abstract: According to a popular and pretheoretically appealing view, victims of radical deception (e.g., the New Evil Demon scenarios, cf. Cohen and Lehrer (1983) and Cohen (1984)) are epistemically justified in their beliefs about the external world (after all, they have no clue about the appearances being radically misleading). But what reasons are there for them to believe as they do? According to the Sameness Thesis, the reasons for deceived subjects to believe as they do are the same as the reasons for their non-deceived counterparts. I argue that this thesis is false. Once we get a better grasp on how normative reasons work in general, we can see that there are good grounds for doubting the Sameness Thesis. My argument relies on the connection between normative reasons, answers to normative questions, and premises of good patterns of reasoning. Moreover, given additional assumptions about the justification – reasons connection, this conclusion seems to provide a further theory-driven argument against the view that victims of the radical deception cases and their non-deceived counterparts are the same justification-wise. I argue that this conclusion is not as crazy as it might initially appear.

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