Responsibility for believing

Synthese 161 (3):357-373 (2008)
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
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Pamela Hieronymi (2005). The Wrong Kind of Reason. Journal of Philosophy 102 (9):437 - 457.
G. E. M. Anscombe (1957). Intention. Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Conor McHugh (2012). Belief and Aims. Philosophical Studies 160 (3):425-439.
Rik Peels (2014). Against Doxastic Compatibilism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):679-702.

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