Being Rational and Being Right

ISBN : 9780198847717

Juan Comesana
256 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Mar 2020
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In Being Rational and Being Right, Juan Comesana argues for a cluster of theses related to the rationality of action and belief. His starting point is that rational action requires rational belief but tolerates false belief. From there, Comesana provides a novel account of empirical evidence according to which said evidence consists of the content of undefeated experiences. This view, which Comesana calls "Experientialism," differs from the two main views of empirical evidence on offer nowadays: Factualism, according to which our evidence is what we know, and Psychologism, according to which our experiences themselves are evidence. He reasons that Experientialism fares better than these rival views in explaining different features of rational belief and action. Comesana embeds this discussion in a Bayesian framework, and discusses in addition the problem of normative requirements, the easy knowledge problem, and how Experientialism compares to Evidentialism, Reliabilism, and Comesana's own (now superseded) Evidentialist Reliabilism.


1 Introduction

2 Probability and Decision Theory

3 Objective Bayesianism and Knowledge-First Epistemolog

4 Knowledge-Based Decision Theory

5 Excuses, Would-Be Knowledge, and Rationality-Based Decision Theory

6 Experientialism

7 The Normative Force of Unjustified Beliefs

8 The Problem of Easy Rationality

9 Evidentialism, Reliabilism, Evidentialist Reliabilism?

10 Conclusion

About the author: 

Juan Comesana is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. Prior to this, he obtained his PhD from Brown University and then taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for six years. He works mainly in epistemology, though he is also interested in metaphysics and metaethics.

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