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  1. Jonathan E. Adler (2002). Akratic Believing? Philosophical Studies 110 (1):1 - 27.
    Davidson's account of weakness of will depends upon a parallel that he draws between practical and theoretical reasoning. I argue that the parallel generates a misleading picture of theoretical reasoning. Once the misleading picture is corrected, I conclude that the attempt to model akratic belief on Davidson's account of akratic action cannot work. The arguments that deny the possibility of akratic belief also undermine, more generally, various attempts to assimilate theoretical to practical reasoning.
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  2. Jon Altschul (2014). Epistemic Deontologism and Role-Oughts. Logos and Episteme 3:245-263.
    William Alston’s argument against epistemological deontologism rests upon two key premises: first, that we lack a suitable amount of voluntary control with respect to our beliefs, and, second, the principle that “ought” implies “can.” While several responses to Alston have concerned rejecting either of these two premises, I argue that even on the assumption that both premises are true, there is room to be made for deontologism in epistemology. I begin by offering a criticism of Richard Feldman’s invaluable work on (...)
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  3. James C. Anderson (1982). The Truth in Voluntarism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 18:101-121.
    Voluntarism is the view that it is from our intimate awareness of the exercise of our wills in performing actions that we arrive at our concept of causality. This view has generally been thought to be indefensible since Hume attacked it in the Treatise and Enquiry. A variant of the position is stated and defended. The views of Castaiieda, and psychologists such as Maine de Biran, Michotte, and Piaget add clarity and enhance the plausibility of the view.
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  4. R. Audi (2001). Doxastic Voluntarism and the Ethics of Belief. In M. Steup (ed.), Knowledge, Truth, and Duty. Essays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue.
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  5. Robert Audi (2008). The Ethics of Belief: Doxastic Self-Control and Intellectual Virtue. Synthese 161 (3):403 - 418.
    Most of the literature on doxastic voluntarism has concentrated on the question of the voluntariness of belief and the issue of how our actual or possible control of our beliefs bears on our justification for holding them and on how, in the light of this control, our intellectual character should be assessed. This paper largely concerns a related question on which less philosophical work has been done: the voluntariness of the grounding of belief and the bearing of various views about (...)
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  6. Jonathan Barnes (2006). Belief is Up to Us. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (2):187–204.
    Augustine has an argument which goes like this: (1) Belief is assent; (2) Assent is up to us: therefore (3) Belief is up to us. The conclusion is-or was thought to be-a doctrine essential to Christian eschatology. The two premisses come from pagan philosophy. Sections I-II set out the argument and its background. Section III is theological. Section IV looks at the conclusion, with the help of Aristotle, while section V and VI look at the premisses. The last three sections (...)
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  7. Peter Baumann (2011). Empiricism, Stances, and the Problem of Voluntarism. Synthese 178 (1):27-36.
    Classical empiricism leads to notorious problems having to do with the (at least prima facie) lack of an acceptable empiricist justification of empiricism itself. Bas van Fraassen claims that his idea of the “empirical stance” can deal with such problems. I argue, however, that this view entails a very problematic form of voluntarism which comes with the threat of latent irrationality and normative inadequacy. However, there is also a certain element of truth in such a voluntarism. The main difficulty consists (...)
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  8. Benjamin Bayer, The Elusiveness of Doxastic Compatibilism.
    While many have explored the question of whether the concept moral responsibility can be made compatible with the prospect of determinism, few have applied compatibilist proposals to the concept of epistemic responsibility and its associated notion of doxastic freedom. This paper evaluates a few recent proposals for doxastic compatibilism that have emerged in recent years, and attempts to refine them for the sake of further evaluation. In particular I evaluate a version of Fischer and Ravizza's moderate reasons-responsiveness compatibilism as applied (...)
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  9. Patrick Bondy (forthcoming). Epistemic Deontologism and Strong Doxastic Voluntarism: A Defense. Dialogue.
    The following claims are independently plausible but jointly inconsistent: (1) epistemic deontologism is correct (i.e., there are some beliefs we ought to have, and some beliefs we ought not to have); (2) we have no voluntary control over our beliefs; (3) S’s lack of control over whether she φs implies that S has no obligation to φ or to not φ (i.e., ought-implies-can). The point of this paper is to argue that there are active and passive aspects of belief, which (...)
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  10. Anthony R. Booth (2007). Doxastic Voluntarism and Self-Deception. Disputatio 2 (22):115 - 130.
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  11. Anthony Robert Booth (2014). On Some Recent Moves in Defence of Doxastic Compatibilism. Synthese 191 (8):1-14.
    According to the doxastic compatibilist, compatibilist criteria with respect to the freedom of action rule-in our having free beliefs. In Booth (Philosophical Papers 38:1–12, 2009), I challenged the doxastic compatibilist to either come up with an account of how doxastic attitudes can be intentional in the face of it very much seeming to many of us that they cannot. Or else, in rejecting that doxastic attitudes need to be voluntary in order to be free, to come up with a principled (...)
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  12. Anthony Robert Booth (2014). On Some Recent Moves in Defence of Doxastic Compatibilism. Synthese 191 (8).
    According to the doxastic compatibilist, compatibilist criteria with respect to the freedom of action rule-in our having free beliefs. In Booth (Philosophical Papers 38:1–12, 2009), I challenged the doxastic compatibilist to either come up with an account of how doxastic attitudes can be intentional in the face of it very much seeming to many of us that they cannot. Or else, in rejecting that doxastic attitudes need to be voluntary in order to be free, to come up with a principled (...)
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  13. Anthony Robert Booth (2009). Compatibilism and Free Belief. Philosophical Papers 38 (1):1-12.
    Matthias Steup (Steup 2008) has recently argued that our doxastic attitudes are free by (i) drawing an analogy with compatibilism about freedom of action and (ii) denying that it is a necessary condition for believing at will that S's having an intention to believe that p can cause S to believe that p . In this paper, however, I argue that the strategies espoused in (i) and (ii) are incompatible.
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  14. Anthony Robert Booth & Rik Peels (2010). Why Responsible Belief is Blameless Belief. Journal of Philosophy 107 (5):257-265.
    What, according to proponents of doxastic deontologism, is responsible belief? In this paper, we examine two proposals. Firstly, that responsible belief is blameless belief (a position we call DDB) and, secondly, that responsible belief is praiseworthy belief (a position we call DDP). We consider whether recent arguments in favor of DDP, mostly those recently offered by Brian Weatherson, stand up to scrutiny and argue that they do not. Given other considerations in favor of DDP, we conclude that the deontologist should (...)
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  15. Matthew Boyle (2011). 'Making Up Your Mind' and the Activity of Reason. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (17).
    A venerable philosophical tradition holds that we rational creatures are distinguished by our capacity for a special sort of mental agency or self-determination: we can “make up” our minds about whether to accept a given proposition. But what sort of activity is this? Many contemporary philosophers accept a Process Theory of this activity, according to which a rational subject exercises her capacity for doxastic self-determination only on certain discrete occasions, when she goes through a process of consciously deliberating about whether (...)
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  16. Andrei A. Buckareff (2014). Deciding to Believe Redux. In Jonathan Matheson Rico Vitz (ed.), The Ethics of Belief: Epistemic Norms and Social Contexts. Oxford University Press. 33-50.
    The ways in which we exercise intentional agency are varied. I take the domain of intentional agency to include all that we intentionally do versus what merely happens to us. So the scope of our intentional agency is not limited to intentional action. One can also exercise some intentional agency in omitting to act and, importantly, in producing the intentional outcome of an intentional action. So, for instance, when an agent is dieting, there is an exercise of agency both with (...)
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  17. Andrei A. Buckareff (2011). Action-Individuation and Doxastic Agency. Theoria 77 (4):312-332.
    In this article, I challenge the dominant view of the importance of the debate over action-individuation. On the dominant view, it is held that the conclusions we reach about action-individuation make little or no difference for other debates in the philosophy of action, much less in other areas of philosophy. As a means of showing that the dominant view is mistaken, I consider the implications of accepting a given theory of action-individuation for thinking about doxastic agency. In particular, I am (...)
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  18. Andrei A. Buckareff (2008). Action and Doxastic Control: The Asymmetry Thesis Revisited. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 4 (1):5-12.
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  19. Andrei A. Buckareff (2006). Hobartian Voluntarism and Epistemic Deontologism. My Cms 2 (21):1 - 17.
  20. Andrei A. Buckareff (2006). Compatibilism and Doxastic Control. Philosophia 34 (2):143-152.
    Sharon Ryan has recently argued that if one has compatibilist intuitions about free action, then one should reject the claim that agents cannot exercise direct voluntary control over coming to believe. In this paper I argue that the differences between beliefs and actions make the expectation of direct voluntary control over coming to believe unreasonable. So Ryan's theory of doxastic agency is untenable.
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  21. Andrei A. Buckareff (2006). Doxastic Decisions and Controlling Belief. Acta Analytica 21 (1):102-114.
    I critique Matthias Steup’s account of exercising direct voluntary control over coming to have doxastic attitudes via doxastic decisions. I show that the sort of agency Steup argues is exercised in doxastic decision-making is not sufficient for agents to exercise direct voluntary control over their doxastic attitudes. This counts against such putative decisions being the locus of direct control in doxastic agency. Finally, I briefly consider what, if any, consequences the failure of Steup’s theory of doxastic agency may have for (...)
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  22. Andrei A. Buckareff (2005). An Essay on Doxastic Agency. Dissertation, University of Rochester
    The problem of doxastic agency concerns what sort of agency humans can exercise with regard to forming doxastic attitudes such as belief. In this essay I defend a version of what James Montmarquet calls "The Asymmetry Thesis": Coming to believe and action are asymmetrical with respect to direct voluntary control. I argue that normal adult human agents cannot exercise direct voluntary control over the acquisition of any of their doxastic attitudes in the same way that they exercise such control over (...)
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  23. Andrei A. Buckareff (2005). Can Faith Be a Doxastic Venture? Religious Studies 41 (4):435-445.
    In a recent article in this journal, John Bishop argues in defence of conceiving of Christian faith as a ‘doxastic venture’. That is, he defends the claim that, in exercising faith, agents believe beyond ‘what can be established rationally on the basis of evidence and argument’. Careful examination reveals that Bishop fails adequately to show that faith in the face of inadequate epistemic reasons for believing is, or can even be, a uniquely doxastic venture. I argue that faith is best (...)
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  24. Andrei A. Buckareff (2004). Acceptance and Deciding to Believe. Journal of Philosophical Research 29:173-190.
    ABSTRACT: Defending the distinction between believing and accepting a proposition, I argue that cases where agents allegedly exercise direct voluntary control over their beliefs are instances of agents exercising direct voluntary control over accepting a proposition. The upshot is that any decision to believe a proposition cannot result directly in one’s acquiring the belief. Accepting is an instrumental mental action the agent performs that may trigger belief. A model of the relationship between acceptance and belief is sketched and defended. The (...)
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  25. Wesley Buckwalter, David Rose & John Turri (2013). Belief Through Thick and Thin. Noûs 47 (3).
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philosophical thesis that knowledge entails belief). We also suggest that the (...)
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  26. Anjan Chakravartty (2011). A Puzzle About Voluntarism About Rational Epistemic Stances. Synthese 178 (1):37 - 48.
    The philosophy of science has produced numerous accounts of how scientific facts are generated, from very specific facilitators of belief, such as neo-Kantian constitutive principles, to global frameworks, such as Kuhnian paradigms. I consider a recent addition to this canon: van Fraassen's notion of an epistemic stance— a collection of attitudes and policies governing the generation of factual beliefs— and his commitment to voluntarism in this context: the idea that contrary stances and sets of beliefs are rationally permissible. I argue (...)
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  27. Timothy Chan (ed.) (2013). The Aim of Belief. Oxford University Press.
    What is belief? "Beliefs aim at truth" is the commonly accepted starting point for philosophers who want to give an adequate account of this fundamental state of mind, but it raises as many questions as it answers. For example, in what sense can beliefs be said to have an aim of their own? If belief aims at truth, does it mean that reasons to believe must also be based on truth? Must beliefs be formed on the basis of evidence alone? (...)
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  28. Matthew Chrisman (2012). The Normative Evaluation of Belief and the Aspectual Classification of Belief and Knowledge Attributions'. Journal of Philosophy 109 (10):588–612.
    It is a piece of philosophical commonsense that belief and knowledge are states. Some epistemologists reject this claim in hope of answering certain difficult questions about the normative evaluation of belief. I shall argue, however, that this move offends not only against philosophical commonsense but also against ordinary common sense, at least as far as this is manifested in the semantic content of the words we use to talk about belief and knowledge. I think it is relatively easily to show (...)
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  29. Matthew Chrisman (2010). The Aim of Belief and the Goal of Truth. In James O.’Shea Eric Rubenstein (ed.), elf, Language, and World: Problems from Kant, Sellars, and Rosenberg. Ridgeview Publishing Co..
    Davidson, Rorty, and Rosenberg each reject, for similar reasons, the idea that truth is the aim of belief and the goal of inquiry. Rosenberg provides the most explicit and compelling argument for this provocative view. Here, with a focus on this argument, I suggest that this view is a mistake, but not for the reasons some might think. In my view, we can view truth as a constitutive aim of belief even if not a regulative goal of inquiry, if we (...)
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  30. Matthew Chrisman (2008). Ought to Believe. Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):346-370.
    My primary purpose in this paper is to sketch a theory of doxastic oughts that achieves a satisfying middle ground between the extremes of rejecting epistemic deontology because one thinks beliefs are not within our direct voluntary control and rejecting doxastic involuntarism because one thinks that some doxastic oughts must be true. The key will be appreciating the obvious fact that not all true oughts require direct voluntary control. I will construct my account as an attempt to surpass other accounts (...)
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  31. Murray Clarke (1986). Doxastic Voluntarism and Forced Belief. Philosophical Studies 50 (1):39 - 51.
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  32. H. G. Classen (1979). Will, Belief and Knowledge. Dialogue 18 (01):64-72.
    In her recent paper, “Belief, Values and the Will,” Trudy Govier raises several interesting and challenging points. Most interesting is her conclusion that it is at least logically possible for a person to believe something “simply in virtue of having taken that decision,” i.e., by fiat. In otherwords, it is possible to believe something by an act of will.
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  33. L. Jonathan Cohen (1992). An Essay on Belief and Acceptance. New York: Clarendon Press.
    In this incisive new book one of Britain's most eminent philosophers explores the often overlooked tension between voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He seeks to counter the widespread tendency for analytic epistemology to be dominated by the concept of belief. Is scientific knowledge properly conceived as being embodied, at its best, in a passive feeling of belief or in an active policy of acceptance? Should a jury's verdict declare what its members involuntarily believe or what they voluntarily accept? And (...)
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  34. J. Thomas Cook (1987). Deciding to Believe Without Self-Deception. Journal of Philosophy 84 (August):441-446.
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  35. Fabian Dorsch (2009). Judging and the Scope of Mental Agency. In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental Actions. Oxford University Press. 38--71.
    What is the scope of our conscious mental agency, and how do we acquire self-knowledge of it? Both questions are addressed through an investigation of what best explains our inability to form judgemental thoughts in direct response to practical reasons. Contrary to what Williams and others have argued, it cannot be their subjection to a truth norm, given that our failure to adhere to such a norm need not undermine their status as judgemental. Instead, it is argued that we cannot (...)
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  36. Steven M. Duncan, The Strange Case of Dr. DeVille, or Determinism and Rationality.
    In this essay, I use a thought experiment to illustrate the human predicament if determinism is true, then draw the implications of this result for human rationality. This paper was read at the Eastern Division of the Society for Christian Philosophers at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2009.
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  37. Pascal Engel (2002). Volitionism and Voluntarism About Belief. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):265-281.
    This paper attempts to clarify some issues about what is usually called “doxastic voluntarism”. This phrase often hides a confusion between two separate (although connected) issues: whether beliefis or can be, as a matter of psychological fact, under the control of the will, on the one hand, and whether we can have practical reasons to believe something, or whether our beliefs are subject to any sort of “ought”, on the other hand. The first issue -- which I prefer to call (...)
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  38. Matthew Evans & Nishi Shah (2012). Mental Agency and Metaethics. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 7:80-109.
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  39. Juan Manuel Falomir, Gabriel Mugny, Alain Quiamzade & Fabrizio Butera (2000). Social Influence and Control Beliefs in Identity Threatening Contexts1. In Walter J. Perrig & Alexander Grob (eds.), Control of Human Behavior, Mental Processes, and Consciousness: Essays in Honor of the 60th Birthday of August Flammer. Erlbaum.
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  40. Richard Feldman (2008). Modest Deontologism in Epistemology. Synthese 161 (3):339 - 355.
    Deontologism in epistemology holds that epistemic justification may be understood in terms of “deontological” sentences about what one ought to believe or is permitted to believe, or what one deserves praise for believing, or in some similar way. If deonotologism is true, and people have justified beliefs, then the deontological sentences can be true. However, some say, these deontological sentences can be true only if people have a kind of freedom or control over their beliefs that they do not in (...)
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  41. R. Foley (1999). Voluntarism. In Robert Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 964.
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  42. Keith Frankish (2007). Deciding to Believe Again. Mind 116 (463):523 - 547.
    This paper defends direct activism-the view that it is possible to form beliefs in a causally direct way. In particular, it addresses the charge that direct activism entails voluntarism-the thesis that we can form beliefs at will. It distinguishes weak and strong varieties of voluntarism and argues that, although direct activism may entail the weak variety, it does not entail the strong one. The paper goes on to argue that strong voluntarism is non-contingently false, sketching a new argument for that (...)
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  43. Eric Funkhouser (2003). Willing Belief and the Norm of Truth. Philosophical Studies 115 (2):179-95.
    Bernard Williams has argued that, because belief aims at getting the truth right, it is a conceptual truth that we cannot directly will to believe. Manyothers have adopted Williams claim that believers necessarily respect truth-conducive reasons and evidence. By presenting increasingly stronger cases, I argue that, on the contrary, believers can quite consciously disregard the demand for truth-conducive reasons and evidence. The irrationality of those who would directly will to believe is not any greater than that displayed by some actual (...)
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  44. Stephen Joel Garver (1996). Responsible Believing. Dissertation, Syracuse University
    On one hand people are, by and large, responsible for what they believe , and yet, it seems clear that we have no immediate voluntary control over belief. I argue that it is only psychologically impossible for us to believe things at will. We do, however, have indirect voluntary influence over belief which is sufficient to ground our responsibility for what we believe. Moreover, while we cannot analyze epistemic justification in terms of deontological notions, these notions do underlie our practice (...)
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  45. Yehuda Gellman (2010). A Problem for the Christian Mystical Doxastic Practice. Philo 13 (1):23-28.
    William Alston has identified what he calls a “Christian Mystical Practice” as one of the many doxastic practices in which humans engage. He defends CMP as being as rational as other doxastic practices, including the sense perceptual practice, having its own input and output rules, and its own background overrider system. I argue that there seems to be a serious problem with Alston’s characterization of the overrider system for CMP. The presence of this problem threatens to damage Alston’s argument for (...)
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  46. Phil Goggans (1991). Epistemic Obligations and Doxastic Voluntarism. Analysis 51 (2):102 - 105.
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  47. Mitchell S. Green & Christopher R. Hitchcock (1994). Reflections on Reflection: Van Fraassen on Belief. Synthese 98 (2):297 - 324.
    In Belief and the Will, van Fraassen employed a diachronic Dutch Book argument to support a counterintuitive principle called Reflection. There and subsequently van Fraassen has put forth Reflection as a linchpin for his views in epistemology and the philosophy of science, and for the voluntarism (first-person reports of subjective probability are undertakings of commitments) that he espouses as an alternative to descriptivism (first-person reports of subjective probability are merely self-descriptions). Christensen and others have attacked Reflection, taking it to have (...)
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  48. Amber L. Griffioen (2014). (Ad-)Ventures in Faith: A Critique of Bishop's Doxastic Venture Model. Religious Studies:1-17.
    While some philosophical models reduce religious faith to either mere belief or affect, more recent accounts have begun to look at the volitional component of faith. In this spirit, John Bishop has defended the notion of faith as a ‘doxastic venture’. In this article, I consider Bishop's view in detail and attempt to show that his account proves on the one hand too permissive and on the other too restrictive. Thus, although the doxastic-venture model offers certain advantages over other prominent (...)
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  49. Peter Hallward, Dialectical Voluntarism: A Defence.
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  50. Peter Hallward, Determination and Will: Towards a Dialectical Voluntarism.
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