Inference as a Mental Act

In Michael Brent (ed.), Mental Action (forthcoming)
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I will argue that a person is causally responsible for believing what she does. Through inference, she can sustain and change her perspective on the world. When she draws an inference, she causes herself to keep or to change her take on things. In a literal sense, she makes up her own mind as to how things are. And, I will suggest, she can do this voluntarily. It is in part because she is causally responsible for believing what she does that there are things that she ought to believe, and that what she believes can be to her credit or discredit. I won’t pursue these ethical matters here, but will focus instead on the metaphysics that underpin them.



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David Hunter
Toronto Metropolitan University

Citations of this work

Mental action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.

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References found in this work

Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1950 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 1 (4):328-332.
What is inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
Action, Knowledge, and Will.John Hyman - 2015 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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