Active belief

Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary 35 (S1):119-147 (2009)
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Abstract

I argue that cognitively mature human beings have an important sort of control or discretion over their own beliefs, but that to make good sense of this control, we must reject the common idea that it consists in a capacity to act on our belief-state by forming new beliefs or modifying ones we already hold. I propose that we exercise agential control over our beliefs, not primarily in doing things to alter our belief-state, but in holding whatever beliefs we hold. Our beliefs are thus not normally things on which we act; they are themselves our acts, in a sense I seek to explicate.

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Matthew Boyle
University of Chicago

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mind and World.John Henry McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The sources of normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.

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