Is believing at will 'conceptually impossible'?

Acta Analytica 22 (2):105-124 (2007)
In this paper I discuss the claim that believing at will is ‘conceptually impossible’ or, to use a formulation encountered in the debate, “that nothing could be a belief and be willed directly”. I argue that such a claim is only plausible if directed against the claim that believing itself is an action-type. However, in the debate, the claim has been univocally directed against the position that forming a belief is an action-type. I argue that the many arguments offered in favor of the ‘conceptual impossibility’ of performing such actions fail without exception. If we are to argue against doxastic voluntarism we are better off by resorting to more modest means.
Keywords Doxastic voluntarism  Genetic version  Conceptual impossibility  Epistemic deontology
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-007-0003-z
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