Believe what you want

The Uncontrollability Thesis is that it is metaphysically impossible consciously to believe that p at will. I review the standard ways in which this might be explained. They focus on the aim or purpose of belief being truth. I argue that these don't work. They either explain the aim in a way which makes it implausible that the Uncontrollability Thesis is true, or they fail to justify their claim that beliefs should be understood as aimed at the truth. I further argue that the explanations don't cut deep enough. Making the aim of truth internal to a state does not explain why we can't produce at will states without this feature but sharing these states' motivational role. I put forward a different explanation. I argue that consciousness makes manifest the attraction of the norm of truth. If we are consciously attending to the question of whether p, we cannot help but make a judgement in line with what the evidence gives us grounds for believing true
Keywords Belief  Control  Metaphysics  Mind  Will
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DOI 10.1111/j.0066-7372.2003.00030.x
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Paul Noordhof (2003). Self-Deception, Interpretation and Consciousness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):75-100.

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