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  1. Epistemic Deontology and Voluntariness.Conor McHugh - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):65-94.
    We tend to prescribe and appraise doxastic states in terms that are broadly deontic. According to a simple argument, such prescriptions and appraisals are improper, because they wrongly presuppose that our doxastic states are voluntary. One strategy for resisting this argument, recently endorsed by a number of philosophers, is to claim that our doxastic states are in fact voluntary (This strategy has been pursued by Steup 2008 ; Weatherson 2008 ). In this paper I argue that this strategy is neither (...)
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  • Normativism and Doxastic Deliberation.Conor McHugh - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (4):447-465.
  • 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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  • Exercising Doxastic Freedom.Conor Mchugh - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):1-37.
    This paper defends the possibility of doxastic freedom, arguing that doxastic freedom should be modelled not on freedom of action but on freedom of intention. Freedom of action is exercised by agents like us, I argue, through voluntary control. This involves two conditions, intentions-reactivity and reasons-reactivity, that are not met in the case of doxastic states. Freedom of intention is central to our agency and to our moral responsibility, but is not exercised through voluntary control. I develop and defend an (...)
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  • All Reasons Are Fundamentally For Attitudes.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    As rational agents, we are governed by reasons. The fact that there’s beer at the pub might be a reason to go there and a reason to believe you’ll enjoy it. As this example illustrates, there are reasons for both action and for belief. There are also many other responses for which there seem to be reasons – for example, desire, regret, admiration, and blame. This diversity raises questions about how reasons for different responses relate to each other. Might certain (...)
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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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  • Mental Action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.
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  • Reasoning and its limits.David Jenkins - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    Reasoning is naturally understood as something which we actively do—as a kind of action. However, reflection on the supposed limits to the extent to which it is up to us how our reasoning unfolds is often taken to cast doubt on this idea. I argue that, once articulated with care, challenges to the idea that reasoning is a kind of action can be seen to trade on problematic assumptions. In particular, they trade on assumptions which could be used to rule (...)
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  • Belief and Aims.Conor McHugh - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (3):425-439.
    Does belief have an aim? According to the claim of exclusivity, non-truth-directed considerations cannot motivate belief within doxastic deliberation. This claim has been used to argue that, far from aiming at truth, belief is not aim-directed at all, because the regulation of belief fails to exhibit a kind of interaction among aims that is characteristic of ordinary aim-directed behaviour. The most prominent reply to this objection has been offered by Steglich-Petersen (Philos Stud 145:395–405, 2009), who claims that exclusivity is in (...)
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  • The Information Effect: Constructive Memory, Testimony, and Epistemic Luck.Kourken Michaelian - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2429-2456.
    The incorporation of post-event testimonial information into an agent’s memory representation of the event via constructive memory processes gives rise to the misinformation effect, in which the incorporation of inaccurate testimonial information results in the formation of a false memory belief. While psychological research has focussed primarily on the incorporation of inaccurate information, the incorporation of accurate information raises a particularly interesting epistemological question: do the resulting memory beliefs qualify as knowledge? It is intuitively plausible that they do not, for (...)
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  • What Do We Aim At When We Believe?Conor Mchugh - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (3):369-392.
    It is often said that belief aims at truth. I argue that if belief has an aim then that aim is knowledge rather than merely truth. My main argument appeals to the impossibility of forming a belief on the basis of evidence that only weakly favours a proposition. This phenomenon, I argue, is a problem for the truth-aim hypothesis. By contrast, it can be given a simple and satisfying explanation on the knowledge-aim hypothesis. Furthermore, the knowledge-aim hypothesis suggests a very (...)
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  • The Illusion of Discretion.Kurt Sylvan - 2016 - Synthese 193 (6):1635-1665.
    Having direct doxastic control would not be particularly desirable if exercising it required a failure of epistemic rationality. With that thought in mind, recent writers have invoked the view that epistemic rationality gives us options to defend the possibility of a significant form of direct doxastic control. Specifically, they suggest that when the evidence for p is sufficient but not conclusive, it would be epistemically rational either to believe p or to be agnostic on p, and they argue that we (...)
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  • Is Believing for a Normative Reason a Composite Condition?J. Cunningham - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3889-3910.
    Here is a surprisingly neglected question in contemporary epistemology: what is it for an agent to believe that p in response to a normative reason for them to believe that p? On one style of answer, believing for the normative reason that q factors into believing that p in the light of the apparent reason that q, where one can be in that kind of state even if q is false, in conjunction with further independent conditions such as q’s being (...)
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  • Belief as an Act of Reason.Nicholas Koziolek - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):287-318.
    Most philosophers assume (often without argument) that belief is a mental state. Call their view the orthodoxy. In a pair of recent papers, Matthew Boyle has argued that the orthodoxy is mistaken: belief is not a state but (as I like to put it) an act of reason. I argue here that at least part of his disagreement with the orthodoxy rests on an equivocation. For to say that belief is an act of reason might mean either (i) that it’s (...)
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  • On the Automaticity and Ethics of Belief.Uwe Peters - 2017 - Teoria:99–115..
    Recently, philosophers have appealed to empirical studies to argue that whenever we think that p, we automatically believe that p (Millikan 2004; Mandelbaum 2014; Levy and Mandelbaum 2014). Levy and Mandelbaum (2014) have gone further and claimed that the automaticity of believing has implications for the ethics of belief in that it creates epistemic obligations for those who know about their automatic belief acquisition. I use theoretical considerations and psychological findings to raise doubts about the empirical case for the view (...)
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  • Epistemic Responsibility and Doxastic Agency.Conor McHugh - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):132-157.
  • What We Do When We Judge.Josefa Toribio - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (3):345-367.
    In this paper I argue on two fronts. First, I press for the view that judging is a type of mental action, as opposed to those who think that judging is involuntary and hence not an action. Second, I argue that judging is specifically a type of non-voluntary mental action. My account of the non-voluntary nature of the mental act of judging differs, however, from standard non-voluntarist views, according to which ‘non-voluntary’ just means regulated by epistemic reasons. In addition, judging (...)
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  • The Illusion of Exclusivity.Conor McHugh - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):1117-1136.
    It is widely held that when you are deliberating about whether to believe some proposition p, only considerations relevant to the truth of p can be taken into account as reasons bearing on whether to believe p and motivate you accordingly. This thesis of exclusivity has significance for debates about the nature of belief, about control of belief, and about certain forms of evidentialism. In this paper I distinguish a strong and a weak version of exclusivity. I provide reason to (...)
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