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  • Blake Roeber

In “Reasons to Believe and Reasons to Act,” Stewart Cohen argues that balance of reasons accounts of rational action get the wrong results when applied to doxastic attitudes, and that there are therefore important differences between reasons to believe and reasons to act. In this paper, I argue that balance of reasons accounts of rational action get the right results when applied to the cases that Cohen considers, and that these results highlight interesting similarities between reasons to believe and reasons to act. I also consider an argument for Cohen's conclusion based on the principle that Adler, Moran, Shah, Velleman and others call “transparency.” I resist this argument by explaining why transparency is itself doubtful.

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Adler, J. 2002. Belief's Own Ethics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Cohen, S. 2016. ‘Reasons to Believe and Reasons to Act.’ Episteme. doi: 10.1017/epi.2016.22.
Moran, R. 2001. Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self Knowledge. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Riggs, W. 2003. ‘Balancing Our Epistemic Goals.’ Noûs, 37(2): 342–52.
Roeber, B. Forthcoming. Anti-Intellectualism. Mind.
Schroeder, M. 2012. ‘Stakes, Withholding, and Pragmatic Encroachment on Knowledge.’ Philosophical Studies, 160: 265–85.
Shah, N. 2003. ‘How Truth Governs Belief.’ Philosophical Review, 112(4): 447–82.
Shah, N. 2005. ‘A New Argument for Evidentialism.’ Philosophical Quarterly, 56 (225): 481–98.
Shah, N. and Velleman, D. 2005. ‘Doxastic Deliberation.’ Philosophical Review, 114(4): 497534.
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