No Epistemic Norm or Aim Needed

Episteme:1-16 (2020)

Abstract

Many agree that one cannot consciously form a belief just because one wants to. And many also agree this is a puzzling component of our conscious belief-forming processes. I will look at three views on how to make sense of this puzzle and show that they all fail in some way. I then offer a simpler explanation that avoids all the pitfalls of those views, which is based instead on an analysis of our conscious reasoning combined with a commonly accepted account of the concept of belief. I conclude that no epistemic norm or aim is actually needed to explain why we cannot deliberatively believe whatever we want.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
What is Inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.

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