Acceptance and deciding to believe

Abstract
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 consequences of the distinction between belief and acceptance, and the model of belief control sketched are then applied to the recent case made by Carl Ginet in defense of the conceptual and psychological possibility of agents exercising direct voluntary control over their beliefs. n
Keywords Acceptance  Belief  Epistemology  Voluntarism  Ginet, C
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Paul Weirich (2004). Belief and Acceptance. In Ilkka Niiniluoto, Matti Sintonen & Jan Wolenski (eds.), Handbook of Epistemology. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub. 499--520.
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