Reasons Vs. Causes
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|Reasons vs. Causes
Reasons vs. Causes
â€¢ Reasons tell us why we ought to believe (do) something. Causes tell us why we in fact do believe (do something).
â€¢ Reasons are normative, causes are factual.
â€¢ Reasons justify, causes explain.
(Caution: the terms here are imprecise, and we use terms such as â€˜explanationâ€™ or â€˜reasonâ€™ in different ways than just outlined.)
Example. Suppose I say: â€œI believe that there are no triangles.â€� You say â€œWhy do you believe that?â€� You can be either asking for the cause of my belief or (more likely in this case) for my reasons for believing it.
Suppose that you are interested in the explanation of why (as a matter of fact) I hold the belief. I may tell you (truthfully) that I hold this belief because my father told me so (perhaps kept saying so), so I kind of have come to hold the belief by default, as it were. In doing so I make no pretense to argue that this is ...
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