As psychologists have emphasized, achieving difficult, long-term goals requires the capacity for perseverance, or “grit.” We argue that grit is distinct from familiar philosophical notions like willpower and continence. Specifically, grit has an important epistemic dimension: quitting is often caused by a loss of confidence that continued effort will result in success. Correspondingly, successful exercises of grit often involve “epistemic resilience” in the face of setbacks suggesting that success is not forthcoming. We argue that resilient reasoning can be epistemically rational to some extent, though it depends in part on whether the agent’s circumstances involve severe material scarcity or oppression.
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