ontology of reasons
An epistemic reason is a reason upon
which a belief is based. In his article The Ontology of
Epistemic Reasons, John Turri distinguishes between
different theories about the ontology of epistemic reasons, that is, what
about what reasons are
Psychologism: All reasons are psychological items.
Anti-psychologism: No reason is a psychological item.
Dualism: Some but not all reasons are
Turri does not attack dualism, which he
says has so few advocates. He attacks two versions of anti-psychologism and
defends a version of psychologism.
versions of anti-psychologism
reasons are the propositional
contents of a subject’s mental states.
Factualism: reasons are non-mental facts or
states of affairs.
Here I present only one of Turri’s arguments against abstractionism and none against
argument against abstractionism
“Suppose I undergo a perceptual
experience with the content <here’s a rectangular surface>, whereupon I
come to believe <here’s a rectangular surface>. This seems like a
perfectly good way to come to know that there’s a rectangular surface before
me. According to abstractionism, in such a case my reason for believing the
proposition <here’s a rectangular surface> is the proposition <here’s
a rectangular surface>. But this means that in heeding the call of
perceptual experience, I am moving in a circle.”
Turri asserts that we do not move in a
circle in making this transition from the perceptual experience to the belief,
so abstractionism has a false entailment, so abstractionism is false.
Turri, J. 2010. Refutation by elimination. Analysis 70: 35-39.