Evidentialism doesn’t make an exception for belief

Keshav Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Susanna Rinard has recently offered a new argument for pragmatism and against evidentialism. According to Rinard, evidentialists must hold that the rationality of belief is determined in a way that is different from how the rationality of other states is determined. She argues that we should instead endorse a view she calls Equal Treatment, according to which the rationality of all states is determined in the same way. In this paper, I show that Rinard’s claims are mistaken, and that evidentialism is more theoretically virtuous than its opponents sometimes give it credit for. Not only does evidentialism not make an exception for belief, but it fits naturally into a unified, explanatorily powerful account of the rationality of intentional mental states. According to such an account, the rationality of all intentional mental states, including belief, is determined by the right kind of reasons for those states. Since the right kind of reasons for belief just are evidential considerations, this unified account entails evidentialism. I conclude, contra Rinard, that evidentialism can be (and often is) situated within a general account of rationality that is at least as theoretically virtuous as pragmatism, if not more so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5477-5494
Number of pages18
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Belief
  • Epistemology
  • Evidentialism
  • Pragmatism
  • Rationality
  • Reasons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


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