Responsibility for believing

Synthese 161 (3):357-373 (2008)
Abstract
Many assume that we can be responsible only what is voluntary. This leads to puzzlement about our responsibility for our beliefs, since beliefs seem not to be voluntary. I argue against the initial assumption, presenting an account of responsibility and of voluntariness according to which, not only is voluntariness not required for responsibility, but the feature which renders an attitude a fundamental object of responsibility (that the attitude embodies one’s take on the world and one’s place in it) also guarantees that it could not be voluntary. It turns out, then, that, for failing to be voluntary, beliefs are a central example of the sort of thing for which we are most fundamentally responsible.
Keywords Doxastic voluntarism  Epistemic responsibility  Voluntary
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    References found in this work BETA
    Robert Merrihew Adams (1985). Involuntary Sins. Philosophical Review 94 (1):3-31.
    Richard Feldman (2000). The Ethics of Belief. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.

    View all 14 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Rik Peels (2013). Against Doxastic Compatibilism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3).
    Holly Smith (2011). Non-Tracing Cases of Culpable Ignorance. Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (2):115-146.

    View all 10 citations

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