Staying true with the help of others: doxastic self-control through interpersonal commitment

Philosophical Explorations 22 (3):243-258 (2019)
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I explore the possibility and rationality of interpersonal mechanisms of doxastic self-control, that is, ways in which individuals can make use of other people in order to get themselves to stick to their beliefs. I look, in particular, at two ways in which people can make interpersonal epistemic commitments, and thereby willingly undertake accountability to others, in order to get themselves to maintain their beliefs in the face of anticipated “epistemic temptations”. The first way is through the avowal of belief, and the second is through the establishment of collective belief. I argue that both of these forms of interpersonal epistemic commitment can function as effective tools for doxastic self-control, and, moreover, that the control they facilitate should not be dismissed as irrational from an epistemic perspective.

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Leo Townsend
University of Vienna

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References found in this work

Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2002 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Problems of the Self.Bernard A. O. Williams - 1973 - Cambridge University Press.
The Wrong Kind of Reason.Pamela Hieronymi - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (9):437 - 457.

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