Believing Autonomously

Recent discussions on the nature of freedom have suggested that freedom of action depends on freedom of the will and that the conditions for the freedom of the will preclude the possibility of the antecedents of free actions being determined or alternatively require that the agent be responsible for those antecedents. In this paper, it is argued that the first thesis is correct but that the second on either interpretation is wrong. What I argue is that if we take one essential component of the antecedents of action, namely belief, and look at the conditions for freedom of belief, or better, autonomy of belief, we will see that rather than determinism being precluded as a condition for autonomy, a certain sort of determinism would make best sense of that autonomy. It is argued that contrary to oft-cited intuitions, were this form of determinism to obtain, our autonomy would be enhanced
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