Taking control of belief

Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):169-183 (2011)
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Abstract

I investigate what we mean when we hold people responsible for beliefs. I begin by outlining a puzzle concerning our ordinary judgments about beliefs and briefly survey and critique some common responses to the puzzle. I then present my response where I argue a sense needs to be articulated in which we do have a kind of control over our beliefs if our practice of attributing responsibility for beliefs is appropriate. In developing this notion of doxastic control, I draw from John Fischer's discussions of “guidance control”. A central feature of this kind of control is the idea of “ownership”. I argue that we can own our beliefs and that we expect each other to do so. We take responsibility for our beliefs and taking responsibility includes taking control of them. I end by considering objections to my view as well as some implications of it.

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Miriam Schleifer McCormick
University of Richmond

Citations of this work

What is Epistemic Blame?Jessica Brown - 2018 - Noûs 54 (2):389-407.
Attitudinal control.Conor McHugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2745-2762.
Epistemic responsibility and doxastic agency.Conor McHugh - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):132-157.
Epistemically blameworthy belief.Jessica Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3595-3614.

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References found in this work

Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press UK.

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