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Intention as a Model for Belief

In Manuel Vargas & Gideon Yaffe (eds.), Rational and Social Agency: Essays on the Philosophy of Michael Bratman. Oxford University Press (2014)

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  1. A Puzzle About Fickleness.Elise Woodard - 2022 - Noûs 56 (2):323-342.
    In this paper, I motivate a puzzle about epistemic rationality. On the one hand, there seems to be something problematic about frequently changing your mind. On the other hand, changing your mind once is often permissible. Why do one-off changes of mind seem rationally permissible, even admirable, while constant changes seem quintessentially irrational? The puzzle of fickleness is to explain this asymmetry. To solve the puzzle, I propose and defend the Ratifiable Reasoning Account. According to this solution, as agents redeliberate, (...)
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  • Memory, Belief and Time.Brian Weatherson - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):692-715.
    I argue that what evidence an agent has does not supervene on how she currently is. Agents do not always have to infer what the past was like from how things currently seem; sometimes the facts about the past are retained pieces of evidence that can be the start of reasoning. The main argument is a variant on Frank Arntzenius’s Shangri La example, an example that is often used to motivate the thought that evidence does supervene on current features.
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  • Games, Beliefs and Credences.Brian Weatherson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):209-236.
    In previous work I’ve defended an interest-relative theory of belief. This paper continues the defence. It has four aims. -/- 1. To offer a new kind of reason for being unsatis ed with the simple Lockean reduction of belief to credence. 2. To defend the legitimacy of appealing to credences in a theory of belief. 3. To illustrate the importance of theoretical, as well as practical, interests in an interest-relative account of belief. 4. To revise my account to cover propositions (...)
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  • The Stability of Belief: How Rational Belief Coheres with Probability, by Hannes Leitgeb.Michael G. Titelbaum - 2021 - Mind 130 (519):1006-1017.
    The Stability of Belief: How Rational Belief Coheres with Probability, by LeitgebHannes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xiv + 365.
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  • Credal Accuracy and Knowledge.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Traditional epistemologists assumed that the most important doxastic norms were rational requirements on belief. This orthodoxy has recently been challenged by the work of revolutionary epistemologists on the rational requirements on credences. Revolutionary epistemology takes it that such contemporary work is important precisely because traditional epistemologists are mistaken—credal norms are more fundamental than, and determinative of, belief norms. To make sense of their innovative project, many revolutionary epistemologists have also adopted another commitment, that norms on credences are governed by a (...)
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  • Intending is Believing: A Defense of Strong Cognitivism.Berislav Marušić & John Schwenkler - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):309-340.
    We argue that intentions are beliefs—beliefs that are held in light of, and made rational by, practical reasoning. To intend to do something is neither more nor less than to believe, on the basis of one’s practical reasoning, that one will do it. The identification of the mental state of intention with the mental state of belief is what we call strong cognitivism about intentions. It is a strong form of cognitivism because we identify intentions with beliefs, rather than maintaining (...)
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  • What It Takes to Believe.Daniel Rothschild - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1345-1362.
    Much linguistic evidence supports the view believing something only requires thinking it likely. I assess and reject a rival view, based on recent work on homogeneity in natural language, according to which belief is a strong, demanding attitude. I discuss the implications of the linguistic considerations about ‘believe’ for our philosophical accounts of belief.
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  • Intention and Value.Joseph Raz - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):109-126.
    In previous writings, I joined those who take the view that action with an intention is an action for a reason, where whatever value there is in the action is a reason for it. This paper sketches the role of reasons and intentions in leading to action with an intention. Section 1 explains that though belief in the value of the intended action is not an essential constituent of intentions, nevertheless when humans act with an intention they act in the (...)
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  • Updating as Communication.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):225-248.
    Traditional procedures for rational updating fail when it comes to self-locating opinions, such as your credences about where you are and what time it is. This paper develops an updating procedure for rational agents with self-locating beliefs. In short, I argue that rational updating can be factored into two steps. The first step uses information you recall from your previous self to form a hypothetical credence distribution, and the second step changes this hypothetical distribution to reflect information you have genuinely (...)
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  • The Courage of Conviction.Sarah K. Paul - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):1-23.
    Is there a sense in which we exercise direct volitional control over our beliefs? Most agree that there is not, but discussions tend to focus on control in forming a belief. The focus here is on sustaining a belief over time in the face of ‘epistemic temptation’ to abandon it. It is argued that we do have a capacity for ‘doxastic self-control’ over time that is partly volitional in nature, and that its exercise is rationally permissible.
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  • Grit.Sarah Paul & Jennifer Morton - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):175-203.
    Many of our most important goals require months or even years of effort to achieve, and some never get achieved at all. As social psychologists have lately emphasized, success in pursuing such goals requires the capacity for perseverance, or "grit." Philosophers have had little to say about grit, however, insofar as it differs from more familiar notions of willpower or continence. This leaves us ill-equipped to assess the social and moral implications of promoting grit. We propose that grit has an (...)
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  • Defeaters and Disqualifiers.Daniel Muñoz - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):887-906.
    Justification depends on context: even if E on its own justifies H, still it might fail to justify in the context of D. This sort of effect, epistemologists think, is due to defeaters, which undermine or rebut a would-be justifier. I argue that there is another fundamental sort of contextual feature, disqualification, which doesn't involve rebuttal or undercutting, and which cannot be reduced to any notion of screening-off. A disqualifier makes some would-be justifier otiose, as direct testimony sometimes does to (...)
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  • Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.
    This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...)
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  • Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.
    This paper explains and defends a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On this view, credences are a species of beliefs, and the degree of credence is determined by the content of what is believed. We begin by developing what we take to be the most plausible belief-first view. Then, we offer several arguments for it. Finally, we show how it can resist objections that have been raised to belief-first views. We conclude that the belief-first view is (...)
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  • A New Puzzle About Belief and Credence.Andrew Moon - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):272-291.
    I present a puzzle about belief and credence, which takes the form of three independently supported views that are mutually inconsistent. The first is the view thatShas a modal belief thatp if and only ifShas a corresponding credence thatp. The second is the view thatSbelieves thatponly ifShas some credence thatp. The third is the view that, possibly,Sbelieves thatpwithout a modal belief thatp. [Word Count: 85].
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  • Two-State Solution to the Lottery Paradox.Artūrs Logins - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3465-3492.
    This paper elaborates a new solution to the lottery paradox, according to which the paradox arises only when we lump together two distinct states of being confident that p under one general label of ‘belief that p’. The two-state conjecture is defended on the basis of some recent work on gradable adjectives. The conjecture is supported by independent considerations from the impossibility of constructing the lottery paradox both for risk-tolerating states such as being afraid, hoping or hypothesizing, and for risk-averse, (...)
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  • I—The Humean Thesis on Belief.Hannes Leitgeb - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):143-185.
    This paper suggests a bridge principle for all-or-nothing belief and degrees of belief to the effect that belief corresponds to stably high degree of belief. Different ways of making this Humean thesis on belief precise are discussed, and one of them is shown to stand out by unifying the others. The resulting version of the thesis proves to be fruitful in entailing the logical closure of belief, the Lockean thesis on belief, and coherence between decision-making based on all-or-nothing beliefs and (...)
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  • Exploring the Stability of Belief: Resiliency and Temptation.Krista Lawlor - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):1-27.
    (2014). Exploring the Stability of Belief: Resiliency and Temptation. Inquiry: Vol. 57, The Nature of Belief, pp. 1-27. doi: 10.1080/0020174X.2014.858414.
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  • Reasons and Causes in Psychiatry: Ideas From Donald Davidson’s Work.Elisabetta Lalumera - 2018 - In Annalisa Coliva, Paolo Leonardi & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Eva Picardi on Language, Analysis and History. Palgrave. pp. 281-296.
    Though the divide between reason-based and causal-explanatory approaches in psychiatry and psychopathology is old and deeply rooted, current trends involving multi-factorial explanatory models and evidence-based approaches to interpersonal psychotherapy, show that it has already been implicitly bridged. These trends require a philosophical reconsideration of how reasons can be causes. This paper contributes to that trajectory by arguing that Donald Davidson’s classic paradigm of 1963 is still a valid option.
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  • The Relationship Between Belief and Credence.Elizabeth G. Jackson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6):1–13.
    Sometimes epistemologists theorize about belief, a tripartite attitude on which one can believe, withhold belief, or disbelieve a proposition. In other cases, epistemologists theorize about credence, a fine-grained attitude that represents one’s subjective probability or confidence level toward a proposition. How do these two attitudes relate to each other? This article explores the relationship between belief and credence in two categories: descriptive and normative. It then explains the broader significance of the belief-credence connection and concludes with general lessons from the (...)
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  • Teaching & Learning Guide For: The Relationship Between Belief and Credence.Elizabeth G. Jackson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6).
    This guide accompanies the following article(s): Jackson, E., Philosophy Compass 15/6 (2020) pp. 1-13 10.1111/phc3.12668.x.
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  • Probing the Mind of God: Divine Beliefs and Credences.Elizabeth Jackson & Justin Mooney - 2022 - Religious Studies 58 (1):S61–S75.
    Although much has been written about divine knowledge, and some on divine beliefs, virtually nothing has been written about divine credences. In this essay we comparatively assess four views on divine credences: (1) God has only beliefs, not credences; (2) God has both beliefs and credences; (3) God has only credences, not beliefs; and (4) God has neither credences nor beliefs, only knowledge. We weigh the costs and benefits of these four views and draw connections to current discussions in philosophical (...)
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  • On the Independence of Belief and Credence.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Philosophical Issues.
    Much of the literature on the relationship between belief and credence has focused on the reduction question: that is, whether either belief or credence reduces to the other. This debate, while important, only scratches the surface of the belief-credence connection. Even on the anti-reductive dualist view, belief and credence could still be very tightly connected. Here, I explore questions about the belief-credence connection that go beyond reduction. This paper is dedicated to what I call the independence question: just how independent (...)
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  • How Belief-Credence Dualism Explains Away Pragmatic Encroachment.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):511-533.
    Belief-credence dualism is the view that we have both beliefs and credences and neither attitude is reducible to the other. Pragmatic encroachment is the view that practical stakes can affect the epistemic rationality of states like knowledge or justified belief. In this paper, I argue that dualism offers a unique explanation of pragmatic encroachment cases. First, I explain pragmatic encroachment and what motivates it. Then, I explain dualism and outline a particular argument for dualism. Finally, I show how dualism can (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5073-5092.
    I explore how rational belief and rational credence relate to evidence. I begin by looking at three cases where rational belief and credence seem to respond differently to evidence: cases of naked statistical evidence, lotteries, and hedged assertions. I consider an explanation for these cases, namely, that one ought not form beliefs on the basis of statistical evidence alone, and raise worries for this view. Then, I suggest another view that explains how belief and credence relate to evidence. My view (...)
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  • Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
    In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that epistemologists should pay attention (...)
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  • Are Knowledge Ascriptions Sensitive to Social Context?Alexander Jackson - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (3-4):8579-8610.
    Plausibly, how much is at stake in some salient practical task can affect how generously people ascribe knowledge of task-relevant facts. There is a metaphysical puzzle about this phenomenon, and an empirical puzzle. Metaphysically: there are competing theories about when and how practical stakes affect whether it is correct to ascribe knowledge. Which of these theories is the right one? Empirically: experimental philosophy has struggled to find a stakes-effect on people’s knowledge ascriptions. Is the alleged phenomenon just a philosopher’s fantasy? (...)
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  • Non-Measurability, Imprecise Credences, and Imprecise Chances.Yoaav Isaacs, Alan Hájek & John Hawthorne - 2022 - Mind 131 (523):892-916.
    – We offer a new motivation for imprecise probabilities. We argue that there are propositions to which precise probability cannot be assigned, but to which imprecise probability can be assigned. In such cases the alternative to imprecise probability is not precise probability, but no probability at all. And an imprecise probability is substantially better than no probability at all. Our argument is based on the mathematical phenomenon of non-measurable sets. Non-measurable propositions cannot receive precise probabilities, but there is a natural (...)
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  • A Normative Comparison of Threshold Views Through Computer Simulations.Alice C. W. Huang - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-23.
    The threshold view says that a person forms an outright belief P if and only if her credence for P reaches a certain threshold. Using computer simulations, I compare different versions of the threshold view to understand how they perform under time pressure in decision problems. The results illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of the various cognitive strategies in different decision contexts. A threshold view that performs well across diverse contexts is likely to be a cognitively flexible and context-dependent fusion (...)
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  • A Tale of Two Epistemologies?Alan Hájek & Hanti Lin - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (2):207-232.
    So-called “traditional epistemology” and “Bayesian epistemology” share a word, but it may often seem that the enterprises hardly share a subject matter. They differ in their central concepts. They differ in their main concerns. They differ in their main theoretical moves. And they often differ in their methodology. However, in the last decade or so, there have been a number of attempts to build bridges between the two epistemologies. Indeed, many would say that there is just one branch of philosophy (...)
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  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Probability 1.Daniel Greco - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):179-201.
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  • Inquiry and Belief.Jane Friedman - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):296-315.
    In this paper I look at belief and degrees of belief through the lens of inquiry. I argue that belief and degrees of belief play different roles in inquiry. In particular I argue that belief is a “settling” attitude in a way that degrees of belief are not. Along the way I say more about what inquiring amounts to, argue for a central norm of inquiry connecting inquiry and belief and say more about just what it means to have an (...)
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  • Attitudinal strength as distance to withholding.Andrew T. Forcehimes - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):963-981.
    How should we understand the relationship between binary belief and degree of belief? To answer this question, we should look to desire. Whatever relationship we think holds between desire and degree of desire should be used as our model for the relationship we think holds between belief and degree of belief. This parity pushes us towards an account that treats the binary attitudes as primary. But if we take binary beliefs as primary, we seem to face a serious problem. Binary (...)
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  • Higher-Order Free Logic and the Prior-Kaplan Paradox.Andrew Bacon, John Hawthorne & Gabriel Uzquiano - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):493-541.
    The principle of universal instantiation plays a pivotal role both in the derivation of intensional paradoxes such as Prior’s paradox and Kaplan’s paradox and the debate between necessitism and contingentism. We outline a distinctively free logical approach to the intensional paradoxes and note how the free logical outlook allows one to distinguish two different, though allied themes in higher-order necessitism. We examine the costs of this solution and compare it with the more familiar ramificationist approaches to higher-order logic. Our assessment (...)
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  • Conversational Implicature, Communicative Intentions, and Content.Ray Buchanan - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5):720-740.
    (2013). Conversational implicature, communicative intentions, and content. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 720-740.
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  • Doxastic Correctness.Pascal Engel - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):199-216.
    Normative accounts of the correctness of belief have often been misconstrued. The norm of truth for belief is a constitutive norm which regulates our beliefs through ideals of reason. I try to show that this kind of account can meet some of the main objections which have been raised against normativism about belief: that epistemic reasons enjoy no exclusivity, that the norm of truth does not guide, and that normativism cannot account for suspension of judgement.
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  • The Case for Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - forthcoming - Noûs.
    We argue that all gradable expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns of (...)
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  • Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
    The Lockean Thesis says that you must believe p iff you’re sufficiently confident of it. On some versions, the 'must' asserts a metaphysical connection; on others, it asserts a normative one. On some versions, 'sufficiently confident' refers to a fixed threshold of credence; on others, it varies with proposition and context. Claim: the Lockean Thesis follows from epistemic utility theory—the view that rational requirements are constrained by the norm to promote accuracy. Different versions of this theory generate different versions of (...)
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  • Consequences of Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):70-98.
    We defend three controversial claims about preference, credence, and choice. First, all agents (not just rational ones) have complete preferences. Second, all agents (again, not just rational ones) have real-valued credences in every proposition in which they are confident to any degree. Third, there is almost always some unique thing we ought to do, want, or believe.
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  • Belief and Certainty.Dylan Dodd - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4597-4621.
    I argue that believing that p implies having a credence of 1 in p. This is true because the belief that p involves representing p as being the case, representing p as being the case involves not allowing for the possibility of not-p, while having a credence that’s greater than 0 in not-p involves regarding not-p as a possibility.
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  • When Should we be Open to Persuasion?Ryan W. Davis & Rachel Finlayson - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):123-136.
    Being open to persuasion can help show respect for an interlocutor. At the same time, open-mindedness about morally objectionable claims can carry moral as well as epistemic risks. Our aim in this paper is to specify when there might be duty to be open to persuasion. We distinguish two possible interpretations of openness. First, openness might refer to a kind of mental state, wherein one is willing to revise or abandon present beliefs. Second, it might refer to a deliberative practice, (...)
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  • A Normatively Adequate Credal Reductivism.Justin M. Dallmann - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2301-2313.
    It is a prevalent, if not popular, thesis in the metaphysics of belief that facts about an agent’s beliefs depend entirely upon facts about that agent’s underlying credal state. Call this thesis ‘credal reductivism’ and any view that endorses this thesis a ‘credal reductivist view’. An adequate credal reductivist view will accurately predict both when belief occurs and which beliefs are held appropriately, on the basis of credal facts alone. Several well-known—and some lesser known—objections to credal reductivism turn on the (...)
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  • Perception and Probability.Alex Byrne - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-21.
    One very popular framework in contemporary epistemology is Bayesian. The central epistemic state is subjective confidence, or credence. Traditional epistemic states like belief and knowledge tend to be sidelined, or even dispensed with entirely. Credences are often introduced as familiar mental states, merely in need of a special label for the purposes of epistemology. But whether they are implicitly recognized by the folk or posits of a sophisticated scientific psychology, they do not appear to fit well with perception, as is (...)
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  • Faith and Traditions.Lara Buchak - forthcoming - Noûs.
    One phenomenon arising in epistemic life is allegiance to, and break from, a tradition. This phenomenon has three central features. First, individuals who adhere to a tradition seem to respond dogmatically to evidence against their tradition. Second, individuals from different traditions appear to see the same evidence differently. And third, conversion from one tradition to another appears to be different in kind from ordinary belief shift. This paper uses recent work on the nature and rationality of faith to show that (...)
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  • A Faithful Response to Disagreement.Lara Buchak - 2021 - The Philosophical Review 130 (2):191-226.
    In the peer disagreement debate, three intuitively attractive claims seem to conflict: there is disagreement among peers on many important matters; peer disagreement is a serious challenge to one’s own opinion; and yet one should be able to maintain one’s opinion on important matters. I show that contrary to initial appearances, we can accept all three of these claims. Disagreement significantly shifts the balance of the evidence; but with respect to certain kinds of claims, one should nonetheless retain one’s beliefs. (...)
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  • Planning on a Prior Intention.Facundo Alonso - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (3):229-265.
    Intention plays a central role in coordinating action. It does so, it is commonly thought, by allowing one to plan further actions for the future on the basis of the belief that it will be executed. Doxasticists about intention (Harman, Velleman) conclude from this that accounting for this role of intention requires accepting the thesis that intention involves belief. Conativists (Bratman, Brunero, Mele) reject that conclusion. I argue that Doxasticists are right in calling attention to the existence of a cognitive (...)
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  • The Powers That Bind : Doxastic Voluntarism and Epistemic Obligation.Neil Levy & Eric Mandelbaum - 2014 - In Jonathan Matheson (ed.), The Ethics of Belief. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 12-33.
    In this chapter, we argue for three theses: (1) we lack the power to form beliefs at will (i.e., directly); at very least, we lack the power to form at will beliefs of the kind that proponents of doxastic voluntarism have in mind; but (2) we possess a propensity to form beliefs for non-epistemic reasons; and (3) these propensities—once we come to know we have them—entail that we have obligations similar to those we would have were doxastic voluntarism true. Specifically, (...)
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  • Interpretations of Probability.Alan Hájek - 2007 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Acting on Knowledge.Timothy Williamson - 2017 - In J. Adam Carter, Emma C. Gordon & Benjamin W. Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First: Approaches in Epistemology and Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 163-181.
    'Knowledge and its Limits' starts its exposition of the knowledge-first approach to epistemology with a structural analogy between knowledge and action as the two key relations between mind and world (Williamson 2000: 1, 6-8). This chapter aims to reconsider the relation between knowledge and action, and refine the analogy.
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  • Belief and Credence: A Defense of Dualism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    Belief is a familiar attitude: taking something to be the case or regarding it as true. But we are more confident in some of our beliefs than in others. For this reason, many epistemologists appeal to a second attitude, called credence, similar to a degree of confidence. This raises the question: how do belief and credence relate to each other? On a belief-first view, beliefs are more fundamental and credences are a species of beliefs, e.g. beliefs about probabilities. On a (...)
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