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Evidence and AgencyNorms of Belief for Promising and Resolving$
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Berislav Marušić

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714040.001.0001

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The Practical Knowledge Response

The Practical Knowledge Response

(p.75) 4 The Practical Knowledge Response
Evidence and Agency

Berislav Marušić

Oxford University Press

This chapter consider and rejects the Practical Knowledge Response. According to this response, we can rationally believe that we will do what we are promising or resolving to do, when promising or resolving against the evidence, because we have practical knowledge that we will do it. The Practical Knowledge Response is motivated by Elizabeth Anscombe’s view that we can know that we will do something without considering evidence but by engaging in practical reasoning. The chapter rejects the Practical Knowledge Response on the grounds that our evidence is a defeater for our purported practical knowledge. Also, it argues that the view that practical knowledge is required for action implausibly implies that we cannot perform any difficult actions. The chapter concludes by identifying an insight of the Practical Knowledge Response: practical reason itself can make belief rational—even if it does not secure practical knowledge.

Keywords:   intentional action, practical knowledge, Elizabeth Anscombe, defeaters, difficult action, practical reason

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