The illusion of discretion

Synthese 193 (6):1635-1665 (2015)
Authors
Kurt Sylvan
University of Southampton
Abstract
Having direct doxastic control would not be particularly desirable if exercising it required a failure of epistemic rationality. With that thought in mind, recent writers have invoked the view that epistemic rationality gives us options to defend the possibility of a significant form of direct doxastic control. Specifically, they suggest that when the evidence for p is sufficient but not conclusive, it would be epistemically rational either to believe p or to be agnostic on p, and they argue that we can in these cases effectively decide to form either attitude without irrationality. This paper argues against the version of epistemic permissivism invoked by these writers and shows that other plausible versions of permissivism do not support their cause. It concludes that if we can exercise direct doxastic control without irrationality, it is not because epistemic rationality gives us options.
Keywords Ethics of belief  Permissivism  Epistemic rationality  Doxastic voluntarism
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0796-z
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References found in this work BETA

Belief's Own Ethics.J. Adler - 2002 - MIT Press.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen‐Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Doxastic Deliberation.Nishi Shah & J. David Velleman - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):497-534.

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Citations of this work BETA

Defending Exclusivity.Sophie Archer - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):326-341.

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