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The Normativity of Belief

Analysis 74 (4):698-713 (2014)

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  1. Interlocking Content and Attitude: A Reply to the Anti-Normativist.Javier González de Prado & Víctor M. Verdejo - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (10):1051-1072.
    ABSTRACT Anti-normativists have advanced the view that the involvement of content in norms is not an essential feature of content, but a contingent feature or side effect of the normativity governing attitudes. In this paper, we argue that, in its original formulation, this view puts too much weight on the idea that belief is the fundamental, and perhaps the only, source of content-involving normativity. In its more refined formulation, however, the view does not make justice to a neutral and encompassing (...)
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  • Epistemic Norms, All Things Considered.Kate Nolfi - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6717-6737.
    An action-oriented epistemology takes the idea that our capacity for belief subserves our capacity for action as the starting point for epistemological theorizing. This paper argues that an action-oriented epistemology is especially well-positioned to explain why it is that, at least for believers like us, whether or not conforming with the epistemic norms that govern belief-regulation would lead us to believe that p always bears on whether we have normative reasons to believe that p. If the arguments of this paper (...)
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  • The Role of Pretense in the Process of Self-Deception.Xintong Wei - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (1):1-14.
    Gendler [2007. “Self-deception as Pretense.” Philosophical Perspectives 21 : 231–258] offers an account of self-deception in terms of imaginative pretense, according to which the self-deceptive...
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  • A social solution to the puzzle of doxastic responsibility: a two-dimensional account of responsibility for belief.Robert Carry Osborne - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9335-9356.
    In virtue of what are we responsible for our beliefs? I argue that doxastic responsibility has a crucial social component: part of being responsible for our beliefs is being responsible to others. I suggest that this responsibility is a form of answerability with two distinct dimensions: an individual and an interpersonal dimension. While most views hold that the individual dimension is grounded in some form of control that we can exercise over our beliefs, I contend that we are answerable for (...)
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  • Rules of Belief and the Normativity of Intentional Content.Derek Green - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (2):159-69.
    Mental content normativists hold that the mind’s conceptual contents are essentially normative. Many hold the view because they think that facts of the form “subject S possesses concept c” imply that S is enjoined by rules concerning the application of c in theoretical judgments. Some opponents independently raise an intuitive objection: even if there are such rules, S’s possession of the concept is not the source of the enjoinment. Hence, these rules do not support mental content normativism. Call this the (...)
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  • Doxastic Responsibility, Guidance Control, and Ownership of Belief.Robert Carry Osborne - 2021 - Episteme 18 (1):82-98.
    ABSTRACTThe contemporary debate over responsibility for belief is divided over the issue of whether such responsibility requires doxastic control, and whether this control must be voluntary in nature. It has recently become popular to hold that responsibility for belief does not require voluntary doxastic control, or perhaps even any form of doxastic ‘control’ at all. However, Miriam McCormick has recently argued that doxastic responsibility does in fact require quasi-voluntary doxastic control: “guidance control,” a complex, compatibilist form of control. In this (...)
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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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  • Inquiry and the doxastic attitudes.Michele Palmira - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):4947-4973.
    In this paper I take up the question of the nature of the doxastic attitudes we entertain while inquiring into some matter. Relying on a distinction between two stages of open inquiry, I urge to acknowledge the existence of a distinctive attitude of cognitive inclination towards a proposition qua answer to the question one is inquiring into. I call this attitude “hypothesis”. Hypothesis, I argue, is a sui generis doxastic attitude which differs, both functionally and normatively, from suspended judgement, full (...)
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  • Knowledge and Attributability.Cameron Boult - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):329-350.
    A prominent objection to the knowledge norm of belief is that it is too demanding or too strong. The objection is commonly framed in terms of the idea that there is a tight connection between norm violation and the appropriateness of criticism or blame. In this paper I do two things. First, I argue that this way of motivating the objection leads to an impasse in the epistemic norms debate. It leads to an impasse when knowledge normers invoke excuses to (...)
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  • Is the Norm on Belief Evaluative? A Response to McHugh.Alexander Greenberg & Christopher Cowie - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly:128-145.
    We respond to Conor McHugh's claim that an evaluative account of the normative relation between belief and truth is preferable to a prescriptive account. We claim that his arguments fail to establish this. We then draw a more general sceptical conclusion: we take our arguments to put pressure on any attempt to show that an evaluative account will fare better than a prescriptive account. We briefly express scepticism about whether McHugh's more recent ‘fitting attitude’ account fares better.
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  • Attitudes and Normativity.Tadeusz Ciecierski - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (3):265-283.
    The paper attempts to pose a problem for theories claiming that intentional attributions are essentially normative. Firstly, I argue that the claim is ambiguous. Secondly, that three possible interpretations of the claim can be distinguished: one that appeals to normative impositions put on agents of intentional states, another that exploits the fact that one can normatively assess the states in question and a further one that locates normativity in the domain of special intentional explanations. Thirdly, it is argued that each (...)
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  • The Problem with Descriptive Correctness.Jeffrey Kaplan - 2020 - Ratio 33 (2):79-86.
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, the normativity of meaning was thought to be more-or-less 'incontestable.' But in the last 25 years, many philosophers of mind and language have contested it in several seemingly different ways. This, however, is somewhat illusory. There is an unappreciated commonality among most anti-normativist arguments, and this commonality, I argue, poses a problem for anti-normativism. The result, however, is not a wholesale rejection of anti-normativism. Rather, an insight from the anti-normativist position can be harnessed to (...)
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  • Rational Action Without Knowledge (and Vice Versa).Jie Gao - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1901-1917.
    It has been argued recently that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning. This norm can be formulated as a bi-conditional: it is appropriate to treat p as a reason for acting if and only if you know that p. Other proposals replace knowledge with warranted or justified belief. This paper gives counter-examples of both directions of any such bi-conditional. To the left-to-right direction: scientists can appropriately treat as reasons for action propositions of a theory they believe to be false (...)
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  • The Aim of Belief and Suspended Belief.C. J. Atkinson - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (4):581-606.
    In this paper, I discuss whether different interpretations of the ‘aim’ of belief—both the teleological and normative interpretations—have the resources to explain certain descriptive and normative features of suspended belief (suspension). I argue that, despite the recent efforts of theorists to extend these theories to account for suspension, they ultimately fail. The implication is that we must either develop alternative theories of belief that can account for suspension, or we must abandon the assumption that these theories ought to be able (...)
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  • Justification, Conformity, and the Norm of Belief.Davide Fassio - 2020 - Dialogue 59 (3):497-525.
    According to a popular view in contemporary epistemology, a belief is justified if, and only if, it amounts to knowledge. Upholders of this view also hold that knowledge is the fundamental norm governing belief and that conforming to this norm is both necessary and sufficient for justification. I argue against the claim that mere norm conformity is sufficient for justification. Rather, justification requires norm conformity for sufficient undefeated reasons. An important consequence is the rejection of the claim that conformity to (...)
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  • Negation, Expressivism, and Intentionality.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (279):246-267.
    Many think that expressivists have a special problem with negation. I disagree. For if there is a problem with negation, I argue, it is a problem shared by those who accept some plausible claims about the nature of intentionality. Whether there is any special problem for expressivists turns, I will argue, on whether facts about what truth-conditions beliefs have can explain facts about basic inferential relations among those beliefs. And I will suggest that the answer to this last question is, (...)
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  • Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
    For many epistemologists and normativity theorists, epistemic norms necessarily entail normative reasons. Why or in virtue of what do epistemic norms have this necessary normative authority? According to what I call epistemic constitutivism, it is ultimately because belief constitutively aims at truth. In this paper, I examine various versions of the aim of belief thesis and argue that none of them can plausibly ground the normative authority of epistemic norms. I conclude that epistemic constitutivism is not a promising strategy for (...)
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  • Fictional Persuasion and the Nature of Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2017 - In Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Art and Belief. Oxford University Press. pp. 174-193.
    Psychological studies on fictional persuasion demonstrate that being engaged with fiction systematically affects our beliefs about the real world, in ways that seem insensitive to the truth. This threatens to undermine the widely accepted view that beliefs are essentially regulated in ways that tend to ensure their truth, and may tempt various non-doxastic interpretations of the belief-seeming attitudes we form as a result of engaging with fiction. I evaluate this threat, and argue that it is benign. Even if the relevant (...)
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  • Belief.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Knowledge as a Non‐Normative Relation.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):190-222.
    According to a view I’ll call Epistemic Normativism, knowledge is normative in the same sense in which paradigmatically normative properties like justification are normative. This paper argues against EN in two stages and defends a positive non-normativist alternative. After clarifying the target in §1, I consider in §2 some arguments for EN from the premise that knowledge entails justification. I first raise some worries about inferring constitution from entailment. I then rehearse the reasons why some epistemologists reject the Entailment Thesis (...)
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  • Belief is Contingently Involuntary.Anthony Robert Booth - 2017 - Ratio 30 (2):107-121.
    The debate between “Normativists” and “Teleologists” about the normativity of belief has been taken to hinge on the question of which of the two views best explains why it is that we cannot believe at will. Of course, this presupposes that there is an explanation to be had. Here, I argue that this supposition is unwarranted, that Doxastic Involuntarism is merely contingently true. I argue that this is made apparent when we consider that suspended judgement must be involuntary if belief (...)
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  • The Normativity of Meaning and Content.Kathrin Glüer & Asa Wikforss - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    There is a long tradition of thinking of language as conventional in its nature, dating back at least to Aristotle De Interpretatione ). By appealing to the role of conventions, it is thought, we can distinguish linguistic signs, the meaningful use of words, from mere natural ‘signs’. During the last century the thesis that language is essentially conventional has played a central role within philosophy of language, and has even been called a platitude (Lewis 1969). More recently, the focus has (...)
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