G. Naturalism & Normativity > Zagzebski on "Powers and Reasons"

Linda Zagzebski's "Powers and Reasons, " hercontribution to the Greco and Groff Powers and Capacities collection from Routledge is available in a pre-publication draft, at
There is no abstract, but the first paragraph reads,

"For a long time human powers were invisible in philosophical investigation because of the dominance of a method that made both the observation of powers and the experience of them suspect. Thankfully that trend is ending. In this paper I will argue that trust in our powers is more basic than what we call reasons. The argument is general, and I believe it applies to reasons for action as well as to reasons for belief, but in most of the paper I will concentrate on the relationship between epistemic powers and epistemic reasons. Reasons for belief derive from the conscientious use of our powers, not the other way around. If a reason is something on the basis of which a self-reflective person treats a belief as true, then trust in our powers is a reason, but a reason of a distinctive first personal kind. It is a more fundamental reason than any other epistemic reasons we can identify. In the last section I will briefly extend the argument to reasons for action, and will argue that they also depend upon a more basic trust in the powers of the self. All reasons depend upon a kind of reason that is first personal."
January 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterGuy Axtell