In defense of doxastic blame

Synthese 195 (5):2205-2226 (2018)
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Abstract

In this paper I articulate a view of doxastic control that helps defend the legitimacy of our practice of blaming people for their beliefs. I distinguish between three types of doxastic control: intention-based, reason-based, and influence-based. First I argue that, although we lack direct intention-based control over our beliefs, such control is not necessary for legitimate doxastic blame. Second, I suggest that we distinguish two types of reason-responsiveness: sensitivity to reasons and appreciation of reasons. I argue that while both capacities are necessary for satisfying the control condition, neither is sufficient. Finally, I defend an influence-based view of doxastic control according to which we have the capacity to execute intentions to engage in reflection that causally influences our beliefs in positive epistemic ways. This capacity is both necessary and sufficient for satisfying the control condition for legitimate doxastic blame. I end by defending the view from two objections: that reflection is not necessary for meeting the control condition, and that it is not sufficient.

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Lindsay Rettler
University of Wyoming

Citations of this work

There is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):518-534.
Epistemic blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (8):e12762.
The Significance of Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
What do We Want from a Theory of Epistemic Blame?Adam Piovarchy - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):791-805.
Epistemically blameworthy belief.Jessica Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3595-3614.

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References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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