Chapter

 Reasons and Apriority

Wolfgang Spohn

in The Laws of Belief

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697502
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739323 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697502.003.0006
 Reasons and Apriority

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Conditional ranks also allow explicating a subjective notion of (deductive or non-deductive) reason, i.e., positive relevance, which is at the base of all current notions of (theoretical) reasons. The chapter introduces and defends this explication; it distinguishes sufficient, necessary, insufficient, and supererogatory reasons (in an unconditional and a conditional version); it states the formal behavior of reasons thus explicated; it explains how such reasons can be weighed; and it shows that it is reasons precisely in this sense that drive the dynamics of belief. Moreover, it explains what maximal certainty and unrevisability mean in ranking-theoretic terms and thus provides a dynamic approach to two notions of apriority: (traditional) unrevisable apriority and so-called defeasible apriority.

Keywords: reasons; balance of reasons; belief change; unrevisable apriority; defeasible apriority

Chapter.  10931 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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