Philosophical Studies 179 (2):615-631 (2021)

Matthew Vermaire
University of Texas at Austin
Doxastic involuntarists, as I categorize them, say that it’s impossible to form a belief as an intentional action. But what exactly is it to form a belief, as opposed to simply getting yourself to have one? This question has been insufficiently addressed, and the lacuna threatens the involuntarists’ position: if the question isn’t answered, their view will lack any clear content; but, after considering some straightforward ways of answering it, I argue that they would make involuntarism either false or insignificant. I also examine several involuntarist arguments, and find them faltering at just this point: inadequate attention to belief-formation results in unsound arguments or insignificant conclusions. The viability of involuntarism as a meaningful position, I conclude, turns on whether the notion of belief-formation can be further developed.
Keywords doxastic voluntarism  intention  believing at will  belief-formation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2022
DOI 10.1007/s11098-021-01673-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Doxastic Deliberation.Nishi Shah & J. David Velleman - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):497-534.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.
Deciding to Believe.Bernard Williams - 1973 - In Problems of the Self. Cambridge University Press. pp. 136--51.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Belief Control and Intentionality.Matthias Steup - 2012 - Synthese 188 (2):145-163.
Doxastic Involuntarism and Evidentialism.Joseph Gamache - 2017 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 91:81-92.
A New Rejection of Doxastic Voluntarism.Sergi Rosell - 2009 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (3):97-112.
Faith, Belief, and Control.Lindsay Rettler - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):95-109.
Doxastic Voluntarism: A Sceptical Defence.Danny Frederick - 2013 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (1):24-44.
Ought to Believe.Matthew Chrisman - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):346-370.
Desiring To Believe.Grace Yee - 2002 - The Monist 85 (3):446-455.


Added to PP index

Total views
167 ( #69,163 of 2,498,779 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
80 ( #9,408 of 2,498,779 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes