Taking control of belief

Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):169-183 (2011)


I investigate what we mean when we hold people responsible for beliefs. I begin by outlining a puzzle concerning our ordinary judgments about beliefs and briefly survey and critique some common responses to the puzzle. I then present my response where I argue a sense needs to be articulated in which we do have a kind of control over our beliefs if our practice of attributing responsibility for beliefs is appropriate. In developing this notion of doxastic control, I draw from John Fischer's discussions of?guidance control?. A central feature of this kind of control is the idea of?ownership?. I argue that we can own our beliefs and that we expect each other to do so. We take responsibility for our beliefs and taking responsibility includes taking control of them. I end by considering objections to my view as well as some implications of it

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Author's Profile

Miriam Schleifer McCormick
University of Richmond

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