Criminal Law and Philosophy 14 (1):91-111 (2020)

Authors
Alexander Greenberg
University of Southampton
Abstract
We seem to be responsible for our beliefs in a distinctively epistemic way. We often hold each other to account for the beliefs that we hold. We do this by criticising other believers as ‘gullible’ or ‘biased’, and by trying to persuade others to revise their beliefs. But responsibility for belief looks hard to understand because we seem to lack control over our beliefs. In this paper, I argue that we can make progress in our understanding of responsibility for belief by thinking about it in parallel with another kind of responsibility: legal responsibility for criminal negligence. Specifically, I argue that that a popular account of responsibility for belief, which grounds it in belief’s reasons-responsiveness, faces a problem analogous to one faced by H.L.A. Hart’s influential capacity-based account of culpability. This points towards a more promising account of responsibility of belief, though, if we draw on accounts of negligence that improve on Hart’s. Broadly speaking, the account of negligence that improves on Hart’s account grounds culpability in a concern for others’ interests, whereas my account of epistemic responsibility grounds responsibility for belief in a concern for the truth.
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DOI 10.1007/s11572-019-09507-7
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility for Believing.Pamela Hieronymi - 2008 - Synthese 161 (3):357-373.

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Citations of this work BETA

Minding Negligence.Craig K. Agule - 2022 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 16 (2):231-251.
III—Doxastic Wrongs, Non-Spurious Generalizations and Particularized Beliefs.Cécile Fabre - 2022 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 122 (1):47-69.

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