Reasons for Belief, Perception, and Reflective Knowledge



A conception of the relation between reasons for belief, justified belief, and knowledge is outlined on which (1) a belief is justified, in the sense of being well-founded, only if there is an adequate (normative) reason to believe it, (2) (normative) reasons to believe something are constituted by truths, and (3) a reason to believe something justifies one in believing it only if it is constituted by a truth or truths that one knows. It is argued that, contrary to initial appearances, perceptual justification does not pose a problem for this view. The discussion touches upon the relation between believing for reasons and reflective knowledge.