Free belief

The main goal of this paper is to show that Pettit and Smith’s (1996) argument concerning the nature of free belief is importantly incomplete. I accept Pettit and Smith’s emphasis upon normative constraints governing responsible believing and desiring, and their claim that the responsibly believing agent needs to possess an ability to believe (or desire) otherwise when believing (desiring) wrongly. But I argue that their characterization of these constraints does not do justice to one crucial factor, namely, the presence of an unreflective, sub-personally constituted, ability to spot the kind of situations in which the reflective critical abilities constitutive of responsible believing (and desiring) should be deployed
Keywords Belief  Ethics  Evidence  Recognition  Responsibility
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DOI 10.1023/B:PHEN.0000007369.76709.4e
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Christopher Hookway (2009). Belief and Freedom of Mind. Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):195 – 204.

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