Agency of belief and intention

Synthese 194 (8):2763-2784 (2017)

Abstract

In this paper, I argue for a conditional parity thesis: if we are agents with respect to our intentions, we are agents with respect to our beliefs. In the final section, I motivate a categorical version of the parity thesis: we are agents with respect to belief and intention. My aim in this paper is to show that there is no unique challenge facing epistemic agency that is not also facing agency with respect to intention. My thesis is ambitious on two fronts. First, the parity thesis is a substantive thesis about the nature of belief and intention. I argue that there is a structural parity of belief and intention; the status of whether they are agential stands and falls together. Second, the parity thesis illuminates the nature of agency. It constrains what counts as a satisfactory account of agency: either we must accept agency of both belief and intention, or we must reject both. In the final section, I argue that we have prima facie reason to accept agency of belief and intention. Finally, I diagnose why there has been such resistance to epistemic agency. Epistemic agency is problematic, but its problems are problems with agency, not problems with epistemic agency.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,722

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-06-19

Downloads
121 (#99,310)

6 months
9 (#81,477)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

A. K. Flowerree
Texas Tech University

References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.

View all 56 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

The Wrongs of Racist Beliefs.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2497-2515.
Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 181-205.
Beliefs That Wrong.Rima Basu - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Southern California

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Case for Epistemic Agency.Dustin Olson - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (4):449-474.
Deciding to Believe Redux.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2014 - In Jonathan Matheson Rico Vitz (ed.), The Ethics of Belief: Individual and Social. Oxford University Press. pp. 33-50.
An Essay on Doxastic Agency.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Rochester
On Epistemic Agency.Kristoffer Ahlstrom - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Belief and Agency. [REVIEW]Lubomira Radoilska - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):377-380.
Epistemic Responsibility Without Epistemic Agency.Pascal Engel - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):205 – 219.
The Structure of Cognitive Agency.Daniel Breyer - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (3):285-296.
Agency and the Other: The Role of Agency for the Importance of Belief in Buddhist and Christian Traditions.Julia Cassaniti - 2012 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 40 (3):297-316.
Two Kinds of Agency.Pamela Hieronymi - 2009 - In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental Action. Oxford University Press. pp. 138–162.