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 to doxastic freedom. I argue, however, that even this refined version of doxastic compatibilism faces special problems not encountered when the criterion is applied to the traditional question about moral responsibility and freedom of action. The case for compatibilism is heavily dependent on so-called Frankfurt examples, and I find that in the realm of the doxastic, Frankfurt examples are especially elusive. I suggest that the failure of doxastic compatibilism has significance for compatibilism as such.
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