The aim of this book is to answer two important questions about the issue of normativity in epistemology: Why are epistemic reasons evidential and what makes epistemic reasons and rationality normative? Bondy's argument proceeds on the assumption that epistemic rationality goes hand in hand with basing beliefs on good evidence. The opening chapters defend a mental-state ontology of reasons, a deflationary account of how kinds of reasons are distinguished, and a deliberative guidance constraint on normative reasons. They also argue in favor of doxastic voluntarism—the view that beliefs are subject to our direct voluntary control—and embrace the controversial view that voluntarism bears directly on the question of what kinds of things count as reasons for believing. The final three chapters of the book feature a noteworthy critique of the instrumental conception of the nature of epistemic rationality, as well as a defense of the instrumental normativity of epistemic rationality. The final chapter defends the view that epistemic reasons and rationality are normative for us when we have normative reason to get to the truth with respect to some proposition, and it provides a response to the swamping problem for monistic accounts of value.
Table of Contents
2. Kinds of Reasons
3. Being Guided by Reasons
4. Epistemic Deontologism and Strong Doxastic Voluntarism
5. The Instrumental Conception of Epistemic Rationality
6. Two Problems for the Instrumental Conception of Epistemic Rationality
7. The Instrumental Normativity of Epistemic Rationality
Patrick Bondy is Assistant Professor at Wichita State University, USA. He has previously held appointments at Trent University, Brandon University, Saint Mary's University, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University. His research has appeared in Dialogue, Synthese, American Philosophical Quarterly, and Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.