Philosophical Topics 46 (1):53-74 (2018)

Authors
Kate Nolfi
University of Vermont
Abstract
Ordinary moral practice suggests that our beliefs, themselves, can wrong. But when one moral subject wrongs another, it must be something that the first subject, herself, does or brings about which constitutes the wronging: wronging involves exercising moral agency. So, if we can wrong others simply by believing, then believing involves an exercise or expression of moral agency. Unfortunately, it is not at all obvious how our beliefs could manifest our moral agency. After all, we are not capable of believing at will, and belief generally seems to be nonvoluntary. Indeed, believing is often nondeliberative, automatic, and reflexive. Belief is a kind of spontaneous and unchosen cognitive response to one’s circumstances; it is the doxastic output of cognitive processing that is often wholly unreflective and subconscious. This paper develops and defends a two-part explanation of how beliefs that are nonvoluntary, automatic, and reflexive can nevertheless manifest our moral agency in a way that can help vindicate the intuitively attractive idea that our beliefs, themselves, can wrong.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0276-2080
DOI 10.5840/philtopics20184614
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,797
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On the Epistemic Costs of Implicit Bias.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (1):33-63.
Epistemic Partiality in Friendship.Sarah Stroud - 2006 - Ethics 116 (3):498-524.
Agency of Belief and Intention.A. Flowerree - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2763-2784.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Agency in Other Animals.Paul Shapiro - 2006 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (4):357-373.
Controlling Attitudes.Pamela Hieronymi - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):45-74.
Believing Badly.Damian Cox & Michael Levine - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (3):309-328.
On Finding a Home for Agency.Richard N. Williams - 1994 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 14 (1):83-86.
Moral Enhancement, Self-Governance, and Resistance.Pei-Hua Huang - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):547-567.
Rational Feelings and Moral Agency.Ido Geiger - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (2):283-308.
Moral Agency in Mammalia.Mark D. Reid - 2010 - Between the Species 13 (10):1.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-08-08

Total views
46 ( #222,914 of 2,425,659 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #351,462 of 2,425,659 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes