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  1. Epistemic Reasons Are Not Normative Reasons for Belief.Samuel Montplaisir - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (4):573-587.
    In this paper, I argue against the view that epistemic reasons are normative reasons for belief. I begin by responding to some of the most widespread arguments in favor of the normativity of epistemic reasons before advancing two arguments against this thesis. The first is supported by an analysis of what it means to “have” some evidence for p. The second is supported by the claim that beliefs, if they are to be considered as states, cannot have epistemic reasons as (...)
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  • Staying True with the Help of Others: Doxastic Self-Control Through Interpersonal Commitment.Leo Charles Townsend - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (3):243-258.
    I explore the possibility and rationality of interpersonal mechanisms of doxastic self-control, that is, ways in which individuals can make use of other people in order to get themselves to stick to their beliefs. I look, in particular, at two ways in which people can make interpersonal epistemic commitments, and thereby willingly undertake accountability to others, in order to get themselves to maintain their beliefs in the face of anticipated “epistemic temptations”. The first way is through the avowal of belief, (...)
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  • A Permissivist Defense of Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    Epistemic permissivism is the thesis that the evidence can rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. Pascal’s wager is the idea that one ought to believe in God for practical reasons, because of what one can gain if theism is true and what one has to lose if theism is false. In this paper, I argue that if epistemic permissivism is true, then the defender of Pascal’s wager has powerful responses to two prominent objections. First, I argue that (...)
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  • The Ethics of Religious Belief.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Religious Studies Archives 1 (4):1-10.
    On some religious traditions, there are obligations to believe certain things. However, this leads to a puzzle, since many philosophers think that we cannot voluntarily control our beliefs, and, plausibly, ought implies can. How do we make sense of religious doxastic obligations? The papers in this issue present four responses to this puzzle. The first response denies that we have doxastic obligations at all; the second denies that ought implies can. The third and fourth responses maintain that we have either (...)
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  • Educating for Ignorance.Rik Peels & Duncan Pritchard - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7949-7963.
    It is widely thought that education should aim at positive epistemic standings, like knowledge, insight, and understanding. In this paper, we argue that, surprisingly, in pursuit of this aim, it is sometimes necessary to also cultivate ignorance. We examine several types of case. First, in various circumstances educators should present students with defeaters for their knowledge, so that they come to lack knowledge, at least temporarily. Second, there is the phenomenon of ‘scaffolding’ in education, which we note might sometimes involve (...)
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  • Evidentialism in action.A. K. Flowerree - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3409-3426.
    Sometimes it is practically beneficial to believe what is epistemically unwarranted. Philosophers have taken these cases to raise the question are there practical reasons for belief? Evidentialists argue that there cannot be any such reasons. Putative practical reasons for belief are not reasons for belief, but reasons to manage our beliefs in a particular way. Pragmatists are not convinced. They accept that some reasons for belief are practical. The debate, it is widely thought, is at an impasse. But this debate (...)
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  • Don’T Forget Forgetting: The Social Epistemic Importance of How We Forget.Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Bennett Holman, Karen Kovaka, Jiin Jung & William J. Berger - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5373-5394.
    We motivate a picture of social epistemology that sees forgetting as subject to epistemic evaluation. Using computer simulations of a simple agent-based model, we show that how agents forget can have as large an impact on group epistemic outcomes as how they share information. But, how we forget, unlike how we form beliefs, isn’t typically taken to be the sort of thing that can be epistemically rational or justified. We consider what we take to be the most promising argument for (...)
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  • Epistemic Responsibility and Criminal Negligence.Alexander Greenberg - 2020 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 14 (1):91-111.
    We seem to be responsible for our beliefs in a distinctively epistemic way. We often hold each other to account for the beliefs that we hold. We do this by criticising other believers as ‘gullible’ or ‘biased’, and by trying to persuade others to revise their beliefs. But responsibility for belief looks hard to understand because we seem to lack control over our beliefs. In this paper, I argue that we can make progress in our understanding of responsibility for belief (...)
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  • A Classification of Newcomb Problems and Decision Theories.Kenny Easwaran - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    Newcomb-like problems are classified by the payoff table of their act-state pairs, and the causal structure that gives rise to the act-state correlation. Decision theories are classified by the one or more points of intervention whose causal role is taken to be relevant to rationality in various problems. Some decision theories suggest an inherent conflict between different notions of rationality that are all relevant. Some issues with causal modeling raise problems for decision theories in the contexts where Newcomb problems arise.
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  • Knowledge Without Credit, Exhibit 4: Extended Cognition. [REVIEW]Krist Vaesen - 2011 - Synthese 181 (3):515-529.
    The Credit Theory of Knowledge (CTK)—as expressed by such figures as John Greco, Wayne Riggs, and Ernest Sosa—holds that knowing that p implies deserving epistemic credit for truly believing that p . Opponents have presented three sorts of counterexamples to CTK: S might know that p without deserving credit in cases of (1) innate knowledge (Lackey, Kvanvig); (2) testimonial knowledge (Lackey); or (3) perceptual knowledge (Pritchard). The arguments of Lackey, Kvanvig and Pritchard, however, are effective only in so far as (...)
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  • What We Epistemically Owe To Each Other.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):915–931.
    This paper is about an overlooked aspect—the cognitive or epistemic aspect—of the moral demand we place on one another to be treated well. We care not only how people act towards us and what they say of us, but also what they believe of us. That we can feel hurt by what others believe of us suggests both that beliefs can wrong and that there is something we epistemically owe to each other. This proposal, however, surprises many theorists who claim (...)
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  • Epistemic Justification and the Ignorance Excuse.Nathan Biebel - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3005-3028.
    One of the most common excuses is ignorance. Ignorance does not always excuse, however, for sometimes ignorance is culpable. One of the most natural ways to think of the difference between exculpating and culpable ignorance is in terms of justification; that is, one’s ignorance is exculpating only if it is justified and one’s ignorance is culpable only if it not justified. Rosen :591–610, 2008) explores this idea by first offering a brief account of justification, and then two cases that he (...)
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  • Intentions, Permissibility, and Choice.Anton Markoč - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (4):493-508.
    T. M. Scanlon has argued that the intentions with which one acts, or more specifically, one’s reasons for acting, are non-derivatively irrelevant to the moral permissibility of one’s actions. According to one of his arguments in favor of that thesis, it can be permissible to act for one reason rather than another only if one can choose to act for a reason but, since that choice is impossible since believing as will is impossible, one can be permitted to act but (...)
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  • On Not Making Up One’s Own Mind.Benjamin McMyler - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2765-2781.
    In believing or acting on authority, an agent appears to believe or act without making up her own mind about what is the case or what to do. How is this possible? How can an agent make up her mind about a theoretical or practical question, and so believe or act intentionally, without doing so for herself? This paper argues that the standard account available in the literature of how it is that an agent can make up her mind without (...)
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  • Choosing and Refusing: Doxastic Voluntarism and Folk Psychology.John Turri, David Rose & Wesley Buckwalter - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2507-2537.
    A standard view in contemporary philosophy is that belief is involuntary, either as a matter of conceptual necessity or as a contingent fact of human psychology. We present seven experiments on patterns in ordinary folk-psychological judgments about belief. The results provide strong evidence that voluntary belief is conceptually possible and, granted minimal charitable assumptions about folk-psychological competence, provide some evidence that voluntary belief is psychologically possible. We also consider two hypotheses in an attempt to understand why many philosophers have been (...)
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  • A Pluralistic Account of Epistemic Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3571-3596.
    In this essay, I aim to motivate and defend a pluralistic view of epistemic rationality. At the core of the view is the notion that epistemic rationality is essentially a species of practical rationality put in the service of various epistemic goals. I begin by sketching some closely related views that have appeared in the literature. I then present my preferred version of the view and sketch some of its benefits. Thomas Kelly has raised challenging objections to a part of (...)
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  • Salience Reasoning.Gerald J. Postema - 2008 - Topoi 27 (1-2):41-55.
    The thesis of this essay is that social conventions of the kind Lewis modeled are generated and maintained by a form of practical reasoning which is essentially common. This thesis is defended indirectly by arguing for an interpretation of the role of salience in Lewis’s account of conventions. The remarkable ability of people to identify salient options and appreciate their practical significance in contexts of social interaction, it is argued, is best explained in terms of their exercise of what I (...)
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  • Why Epistemologists Are so Down on Their Luck.Wayne Riggs - 2007 - Synthese 158 (3):329 - 344.
    It is nearly universally acknowledged among epistemologists that a belief, even if true, cannot count as knowledge if it is somehow largely a matter of luck that the person so arrived at the truth. A striking feature of this literature, however, is that while many epistemologists are busy arguing about which particular technical condition most effectively rules out the offensive presence of luck in true believing, almost no one is asking why it matters so much that knowledge be immune from (...)
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  • Responsibility for Believing.Pamela Hieronymi - 2008 - Synthese 161 (3):357-373.
    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 (...)
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  • Doxastic Decisions and Controlling Belief.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (1):102-114.
    I critique Matthias Steup’s account of exercising direct voluntary control over coming to have doxastic attitudes via doxastic decisions. I show that the sort of agency Steup argues is exercised in doxastic decision-making is not sufficient for agents to exercise direct voluntary control over their doxastic attitudes. This counts against such putative decisions being the locus of direct control in doxastic agency. Finally, I briefly consider what, if any, consequences the failure of Steup’s theory of doxastic agency may have for (...)
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  • Control, Responsibility, and Moral Assessment.Angela M. Smith - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (3):367 - 392.
    Recently, a number of philosophers have begun to question the commonly held view that choice or voluntary control is a precondition of moral responsibility. According to these philosophers, what really matters in determining a person’s responsibility for some thing is whether that thing can be seen as indicative or expressive of her judgments, values, or normative commitments. Such accounts might therefore be understood as updated versions of what Susan Wolf has called “real self views,” insofar as they attempt to ground (...)
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  • How We Choose Our Beliefs.Gregory Salmieri & Benjamin Bayer - 2013 - Philosophia (1):1-13.
    Recent years have seen increasing attacks on the "deontological" conception (or as we call it, the guidance conception) of epistemic justification, the view that epistemology offers advice to knowers in forming beliefs responsibly. Critics challenge an important presupposition of the guidance conception: doxastic voluntarism, the view that we choose our beliefs. We assume that epistemic guidance is indispensable, and seek to answer objections to doxastic voluntarism, most prominently William Alston's. We contend that Alston falsely assumes that choice of belief requires (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism.Matthew Lockard - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1701-1718.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemically rational beliefs are beliefs that are produced in ways that are conducive to certain ends that one wants to attain. In “Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique,” Thomas Kelly advances various objections to epistemic instrumentalism. While I agree with the general thrust of Kelly’s objections, he does not distinguish between two forms of epistemic instrumentalism. Intellectualist forms maintain that epistemically rational beliefs are beliefs arrived at in compliance with rules that are conducive to epistemic (...)
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  • So Why Can’T You Intend to Drink the Toxin?Fernando Rudy-Hiller - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (3):294-311.
    In this paper I revisit Gregory Kavka’s Toxin Puzzle and propose a novel solution to it. Like some previous accounts, mine postulates a tight link between intentions and reasons but, unlike them, in my account these are motivating rather than normative reasons, i.e. reasons that explain (rather than justify) the intended action. I argue that sensitivity to the absence of possible motivational explanations for the intended action is constitutive of deliberation-based intentions. Since ordinary rational agents display this sensitivity, when placed (...)
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  • Do Reasons Expire? An Essay on Grief.Berislav Marušić - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18.
    Suppose we suffer a loss, such as the death of a loved one. In light of her death, we will typically feel grief, as it seems we should. After all, our loved one’s death is a reason for grief. Yet with the passage of time, our grief will typically diminish, and this seems somehow all right. However, our reason for grief ostensibly remains the same, since the passage of time does not undo our loss. How, then, could it not be (...)
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  • On Knowing One's Own Resistant Beliefs.Cristina Borgoni - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (2):212-225.
    Influential views on self-knowledge presuppose that we cannot come to know a resistant belief in a first-personal way. Two theses support this supposition: if a belief self-ascription is grounded in the evidence of the person holding the belief, it is third-personal and we cannot have first-personal knowledge of beliefs we do not control. I object to both of these theses and argue that we can introspect on beliefs of which we lack control even though we cannot assent to their content.
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  • What is (In)Coherence?Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13:184-206.
    Recent work on rationality has been increasingly attentive to “coherence requirements”, with heated debates about both the content of such requirements and their normative status (e.g., whether there is necessarily reason to comply with them). Yet there is little to no work on the metanormative status of coherence requirements. Metaphysically: what is it for two or more mental states to be jointly incoherent, such that they are banned by a coherence requirement? In virtue of what are some putative requirements genuine (...)
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  • Games and the Art of Agency.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (4):423-462.
    Games may seem like a waste of time, where we struggle under artificial rules for arbitrary goals. The author suggests that the rules and goals of games are not arbitrary at all. They are a way of specifying particular modes of agency. This is what make games a distinctive art form. Game designers designate goals and abilities for the player; they shape the agential skeleton which the player will inhabit during the game. Game designers work in the medium of agency. (...)
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  • A social solution to the puzzle of doxastic responsibility: a two-dimensional account of responsibility for belief.Robert Carry Osborne - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9335-9356.
    In virtue of what are we responsible for our beliefs? I argue that doxastic responsibility has a crucial social component: part of being responsible for our beliefs is being responsible to others. I suggest that this responsibility is a form of answerability with two distinct dimensions: an individual and an interpersonal dimension. While most views hold that the individual dimension is grounded in some form of control that we can exercise over our beliefs, I contend that we are answerable for (...)
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  • Belief and Difficult Action.Berislav Marušić - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12:1-30.
    Suppose you decide or promise to do something that you have evidence is difficult to do. Should you believe that you will do it? On the one hand, if you believe that you will do it, your belief goes against the evidence—since having evidence that it’s difficult to do it constitutes evidence that it is likely that you won’t do it. On the other hand, if you don’t believe that you will do it but instead believe, as your evidence suggests, (...)
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  • Diachronic Agency and Practical Entitlement.Matthew Heeney - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):177-198.
    As diachronic agents, we deliberate and decide in the present to perform future courses of action. Such future‐directed decisions normally enjoy a distinctive species of rational authority over subsequent thought and action. But what is the nature of this authority, and what underwrites its normative force? In this paper, I argue that our answer to this question must begin by situating future‐directed deciding within an intrapersonal model of cross‐temporal influence. The role of future‐directed deciding (and intending), then, is not to (...)
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  • Active Belief.Matthew Boyle - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (S1):119-147.
    I argue that cognitively mature human beings have an important sort of control or discretion over their own beliefs, but that to make good sense of this control, we must reject the common idea that it consists in a capacity to act on our belief-state by forming new beliefs or modifying ones we already hold. I propose that we exercise agential control over our beliefs, not primarily in doing things to alter our belief-state, but in holding whatever beliefs we hold. (...)
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  • What is Reliance?Facundo M. Alonso - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):163-183.
    In this article I attempt to provide a conceptual framework for thinking about reliance in a systematic way. I argue that reliance is a cognitive attitude that has a tighter connection to the guidance of our thought and action than ordinary belief does. My main thesis is that reliance has a ‘constitutive aim’: namely, it aims at guiding our thought and action in a way that is sensible from the standpoint of practical or theoretical ends. This helps explain why reliance (...)
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  • On Believing Indirectly for Practical Reasons.Sebastian Schmidt - 2021 - Philosophical Studies:1-25.
    It is often argued that there are no practical reasons for belief because we could not believe for such reasons. A recent reply by pragmatists is that we can often believe for practical reasons because we can often cause our beliefs for practical reasons. This paper reveals the limits of this recently popular strategy for defending pragmatism, and thereby reshapes the dialectical options for pragmatism. I argue that the strategy presupposes that reasons for being in non-intentional states are not reducible (...)
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  • Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
    When it comes to epistemic normativity, should we take the good to be prior to the right? That is, should we ground facts about what we ought and ought not believe on a given occasion in facts about the value of being in certain cognitive states (such as, for example, the value of having true beliefs)? The overwhelming answer among contemporary epistemologists is “Yes, we should.” This essay argues to the contrary. Just as taking the good to be prior to (...)
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  • Epistemic Blame and the Normativity of Evidence.Sebastian Schmidt - 2021 - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The normative force of evidence can seem puzzling. It seems that having conclusive evidence for a proposition does not, by itself, make it true that one ought to believe the proposition. But spelling out the condition that evidence must meet in order to provide us with genuine normative reasons for belief seems to lead us into a dilemma: the condition either fails to explain the normative significance of epistemic reasons or it renders the content of epistemic norms practical. The first (...)
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  • The Matter of Motivating Reasons.J. J. Cunningham - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    It is now standard in the literature on reasons and rationality to distinguish normative reasons from motivating reasons. Two issues have dominated philosophical theorising concerning the latter: (i) whether we should think of them as certain (non-factive) psychological states of the agent – the dispute over Psychologism; and (ii) whether we should say that the agent can Φ for the reason that p only if p – the dispute over Factivism. This paper first introduces a puzzle: these disputes look very (...)
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  • Epistemic Responsibility Without Epistemic Agency.Pascal Engel - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):205 – 219.
    This article discusses the arguments against associating epistemic responsibility with the ordinary notion of agency. I examine the various 'Kantian' views which lead to a distinctive conception of epistemic agency and epistemic responsibility. I try to explain why we can be held responsible for our beliefs in the sense of obeying norms which regulate them without being epistemic agents.
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  • Introduction: Responsibility for Action and Belief.Carlos J. Moya & Stefaan E. Cuypers - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):81 – 86.
  • Responding to Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2007 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 2. Clarendon Press. pp. 220--39.
    I believe that normative force depends on desire. This view faces serious difficulties, however, and has yet to be vindicated. This paper sketches an Argument from Voluntary Response, attempting to establish this dependence of normativity on desire by appeal to the autonomous character of our experience of normative authority, and the voluntary character of our responses to it. I first offer an account of desiring as mentally aiming intrinsically at some end. I then argue that behaviour is only voluntary if (...)
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  • The Role of Trust in Judgment.Christophe Sage Hudspeth - unknown
    In this dissertation I defend five claims about trust: 1) trusting and trustworthiness are conceptually but not causally connected; 2) trust is risky; 3) trust requires good will; 4) trust is a two-part relation; and 5) trust is an interpretative framework. A concern for trust often appears in discussions about testimony and the expectation of truthfulness; Bentley Glass, John Hardwig, and Jonathan Adler each address the role of trust in science while assuming a necessary connection between trusting and trustworthiness. I (...)
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  • The Concept of Affectivity in Early Modern Philosophy.Boros Gábor, Szalai Judit & Toth Oliver Istvan (eds.) - 2017 - Budapest, Hungary: Eötvös Loránd University Press.
  • Making a Difference.Pamela Hieronymi - 2011 - Social Theory and Practice 37 (1):81-94.
    I suggest that Fischer concedes too much to the consequence argument when he grants that we may not make a difference. I provide a broad sketch of (my take on) the dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists, while suggesting that some of the discussion may have confused the freedom required for moral responsibility with a very different notion of autonomy. I introduce that less usual notion of autonomy and suggest that those who are autonomous, in this sense, do make a difference.
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  • Voluntary Belief on a Reasonable Basis.Philip J. Nickel - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):312-334.
    A person presented with adequate but not conclusive evidence for a proposition is in a position voluntarily to acquire a belief in that proposition, or to suspend judgment about it. The availability of doxastic options in such cases grounds a moderate form of doxastic voluntarism not based on practical motives, and therefore distinct from pragmatism. In such cases, belief-acquisition or suspension of judgment meets standard conditions on willing: it can express stable character traits of the agent, it can be responsive (...)
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Normative?Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Noûs.
    According to a widely held view, epistemic reasons are normative reasons for belief – much like prudential or moral reasons are normative reasons for action. In recent years, however, an increasing number of authors have questioned the assumption that epistemic reasons are normative. In this article, I discuss an important challenge for anti-normativism about epistemic reasons and present a number of arguments in support of normativism. The challenge for anti-normativism is to say what kind of reasons epistemic reasons are if (...)
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  • Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 181-205.
    In the Book of Common Prayer’s Rite II version of the Eucharist, the congregation confesses, “we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed”. According to this confession we wrong God not just by what we do and what we say, but also by what we think. The idea that we can wrong someone not just by what we do, but by what think or what we believe, is a natural one. It is the kind of wrong we feel (...)
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  • How Inference Isn’T Blind: Self-Conscious Inference and its Role in Doxastic Agency.David Jenkins - 2019 - Dissertation, King’s College London
    This thesis brings together two concerns. The first is the nature of inference—what it is to infer—where inference is understood as a distinctive kind of conscious and self-conscious occurrence. The second concern is the possibility of doxastic agency. To be capable of doxastic agency is to be such that one is capable of directly exercising agency over one’s beliefs. It is to be capable of exercising agency over one’s beliefs in a way which does not amount to mere self-manipulation. Subjects (...)
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  • Doxastic Responsibility, Guidance Control, and Ownership of Belief.Robert Carry Osborne - 2021 - Episteme 18 (1):82-98.
    ABSTRACTThe contemporary debate over responsibility for belief is divided over the issue of whether such responsibility requires doxastic control, and whether this control must be voluntary in nature. It has recently become popular to hold that responsibility for belief does not require voluntary doxastic control, or perhaps even any form of doxastic ‘control’ at all. However, Miriam McCormick has recently argued that doxastic responsibility does in fact require quasi-voluntary doxastic control: “guidance control,” a complex, compatibilist form of control. In this (...)
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  • Mental Action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.
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  • How Privacy Rights Engender Direct Doxastic Duties.Lauritz Aastrup Munch - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-16.
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