Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Juan Piñeros-Glasscock

Second Advisor

Neil Van Leeuwen


Susanna Rinard (2017, 2019, 2022) offers a refined pragmatist view of how to theorize normatively about beliefs. However, David Christensen (2020) disputes Rinard’s claim on rationality by presenting some seeming counterexamples of her theory. In this paper, I challenge Christensen's objections to Rinard's theory. First, I introduce Rinard's theory of belief rationality. Second, I introduce Christensen’s cases that allegedly debunk Rinard’s thesis. Third, I refine Rinard’s theory of rationality by arguing that the rationality of an agent's belief can be based on what is best for them given their existing beliefs, emotions, and perceptual experiences. Last, I will redescribe the cases Christensen presents to capture how people ordinarily deliberate in everyday life when undergoing tensions between their mental states. I will contend that the refined version of Rinard’s theory that I propose can offer a clearer picture of why Christensen fails in his attempt to reject Rinard’s original theory.


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