WIPS - A historical theory of believing for reasons
Abstract: On one theory—the historical theory—of believing for reasons, the state of believing something for some particular reason is to be explained (i.e., defined) in terms of the act of coming to believe it in some particular way. On another theory—the current time-slice theory—by contrast, the state of believing something for some particular reason is to be explained (i.e., defined) without appeal to any act of coming to believe. In this essay, I briefly introduce and motivate a neglected version of the historical theory, defend it against a set of objections developed by Matthew Boyle (2009, 2011), and show that the current time-slice theory, unlike the historical theory, offers no hope of providing a plausible account of beliefs held for specifically perceptual reasons. I conclude that the proposed version of the historical theory is to be preferred to the current time-slice theory.