Holding the Faith True

Res Philosophica 90 (2):161-170 (2013)
Authors
John Zeis
Canisius College
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that the objections to both doxastic volitionism and doxastic voluntarism fail. Objections to doxastic volitionism and doxastic voluntarismassume a generic notion of belief, a notion which covers both beliefs about things which we know or think we know or are evident to us, as well as beliefs which have some degree of credence but are not clearly evident to the subject. The generic notion of belief includes both sorts of beliefs, but the position against doxastic volitionism is supported only by appeal to beliefs about things which are evident or that we think we know. However, by showing that beliefs which we think we know to be true are not voluntary, the objections leaves open the question whether belief as such is voluntary. Contrary to the opponents of doxastic volitionism, I will show that if what we are after is a generic notion of belief, it ought to be construed as holding true; and if this is what constitutes belief as such, the arguments against doxastic volitionism for faith beliefs fail. The strongest argument against doxastic voluntarism is an evidentialist argument concerning the ethics of belief. That argument is basically that even if choosing belief is psychologically possible, evidentialism rules it out as epistemically irresponsible. In the last section of this article, I will argue that if religious belief is constituted by true propositions of the faith, the evidentialist objection to doxastic voluntarism fails
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 2168-9105
DOI 10.11612/resphil.2013.90.2.4
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemological Puzzles About Disagreement.Richard Feldman - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology Futures. Oxford University Press. pp. 216-236.
Belief, Faith, and Acceptance.Robert Audi - 2008 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 63 (1-3):87-102.

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