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Evidence, Judgment, and Belief at Will

Mind 128 (511):837-859 (2019)

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  1. In Search of Doxastic Involuntarism.Matthew Vermaire - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):615-631.
    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. (...)
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  • Permissive Situations and Direct Doxastic Control.Blake Roeber - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):415-431.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Is Every Theory of Knowledge False?Blake Roeber - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):839-866.
    Is knowledge consistent with literally any credence in the relevant proposition, including credence 0? Of course not. But is credence 0 the only credence in p that entails that you don’t know that p? Knowledge entails belief (most epistemologists think), and it’s impossible to believe that p while having credence 0 in p. Is it true that, for every value of ‘x,’ if it’s impossible to know that p while having credence x in p, this is simply because it’s impossible (...)
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  • Are We Pre-Theoretically Committed to Doxastic Voluntarism?Nikolaj Nottelmann, Anthony Booth & Rune Lomholt - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-22.
    Much of the force behind doxastic involuntarism comes from our pre-theoretical judgement that any effort to form a belief simply by intending to form it must remain unsuccessful. However, despite this, ordinary language use of locutions like “chose to believe” are common. In this article, we present new experimental data that shows that the prevalence of ordinary language talk of “chosen beliefs” is no obstacle to doxastic involuntarism in a standard sense. While we employ the methods of experimental philosophy, our (...)
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  • Being Neutral: Agnosticism, Inquiry and the Suspension of Judgment.Matthew McGrath - 2021 - Noûs 55 (2):463-484.
    Epistemologists often claim that in addition to belief and disbelief there is a third, neutral, doxastic attitude. Various terms are used: ‘suspending judgment’, ‘withholding’, ‘agnosticism’. It is also common to claim that the factors relevant to the justification of these attitudes are epistemic in the narrow sense of being factors that bear on the strength or weakness of one’s epistemic position with respect to the target proposition. This paper addresses two challenges to such traditionalism about doxastic attitudes. The first concerns (...)
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  • A limitation on agency in judgment.Matthew McGrath - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    To many, judgment has seemed a locus of cognitive agency, a kind of cognitive mental act. In one minimal sense, judgment is something one does. I consider whether judgment is more robustly agential: is it a kind of action done with an aim? The most attractive version of this sort of position takes judging that p to affirming that p with an alethic aim, an aim such as affirming truly. I argue that such views have unacceptable consequences. Acts done with (...)
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  • Permission to believe is not permission to believe at will.Phillip Hintikka Kieval - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-12.
    According to doxastic involuntarism, we cannot believe at will. In this paper, I argue that permissivism, the view that, at times, there is more than one way to respond rationally to a given body of evidence, is consistent with doxastic involuntarism. Rober :837–859, 2019a, Philos Phenom Res 1–17, 2019b) argues that, since permissive situations are possible, cognitively healthy agents can believe at will. However, Roeber fails to distinguish between two different arguments for voluntarism, both of which can be shown to (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and Moral Encroachment.Elizabeth Jackson & James Fritz - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1387–1408.
    Radical moral encroachment is the view that belief itself is morally evaluable, and that some moral properties of belief itself make a difference to epistemic rationality. To date, almost all proponents of radical moral encroachment hold to an asymmetry thesis: the moral encroaches on rational belief, but not on rational credence. In this paper, we argue against the asymmetry thesis; we show that, insofar as one accepts the most prominent arguments for radical moral encroachment on belief, one should likewise accept (...)
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  • A Permissivist Defense of Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    Epistemic permissivism is the thesis that the evidence can rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. Pascal’s wager is the idea that one ought to believe in God for practical reasons, because of what one can gain if theism is true and what one has to lose if theism is false. In this paper, I argue that if epistemic permissivism is true, then the defender of Pascal’s wager has powerful responses to two prominent objections. First, I argue that (...)
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  • Thinking, Guessing, and Believing.Ben Holguin - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (1):1-34.
    This paper defends the view, put roughly, that to think that p is to guess that p is the answer to the question at hand, and that to think that p rationally is for one’s guess to that question to be in a certain sense non-arbitrary. Some theses that will be argued for along the way include: that thinking is question-sensitive and, correspondingly, that ‘thinks’ is context-sensitive; that it can be rational to think that p while having arbitrarily low credence (...)
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  • What Should Relational Egalitarians Believe?Anne-Sofie Greisen Hojlund - 2021 - Sage Publications: Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (1):55-74.
    Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Volume 21, Issue 1, Page 55-74, February 2022. Many find that the objectionable nature of paternalism has something to do with belief. However, since it is commonly held that beliefs are directly governed by epistemic as opposed to moral norms, how could it be objectionable to hold paternalistic beliefs about others if they are supported by the evidence? Drawing on central elements of relational egalitarianism, this paper attempts to bridge this gap. In a first step, it (...)
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  • What Should Relational Egalitarians Believe?Anne-Sofie Greisen Hojlund - 2022 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (1):55-74.
    Many find that the objectionable nature of paternalism has something to do with belief. However, since it is commonly held that beliefs are directly governed by epistemic as opposed to moral norms, how could it be objectionable to hold paternalistic beliefs about others if they are supported by the evidence? Drawing on central elements of relational egalitarianism, this paper attempts to bridge this gap. In a first step, it argues that holding paternalistic beliefs about others implies a failure to regard (...)
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  • Involuntarism Impugned?E. J. Coffman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-11.
    Blake Roeber argues that examples of a certain neglected kind cast doubt on the following piece of epistemological orthodoxy: your acquisition of a particular belief couldn’t itself be a directly voluntary action. In this paper, I undermine and then rebut Roeber’s anti-involuntarism conclusion. After arguing for the denial of one of the premises on which Roeber’s conclusion is based, I articulate a plausible pro-involuntarism explanation of Roeber’s focal example.
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  • Ought to Believe Vs. Ought to Reflect.Anthony Robert Booth - 2020 - In Kevin McCain & Scott Stapleford (eds.), Epistemic Duties: New Arguments, New Angles.
    Several philosophers think that we do not have duties to believe but that we can nevertheless sometimes be held to blame for our beliefs, since duties relevant to belief are exclusively duties to critical reflection. One important line of argument for this claim goes as follows: we at most have influence over our beliefs such that we are not responsible for belief, but responsible for the acts of critical reflection that influence them. We can be blameworthy not just for violating (...)
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  • I Know What You Will Do Next Summer: Informational Privacy and the Ethics of Data Analytics.Jakob Mainz - 2021 - Dissertation, Aalborg University
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  • Permissivism, Underdetermination, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson & Margaret Greta Turnbull - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-13.
    Permissivism is the thesis that, for some body of evidence and a proposition p, there is more than one rational doxastic attitude any agent with that evidence can take toward p. Proponents of uniqueness deny permissivism, maintaining that every body of evidence always determines a single rational doxastic attitude. In this paper, we explore the debate between permissivism and uniqueness about evidence, outlining some of the major arguments on each side. We then consider how permissivism can be understood as an (...)
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  • The Ethics of Religious Belief.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Religious Studies Archives 1 (4):1-10.
    On some religious traditions, there are obligations to believe certain things. However, this leads to a puzzle, since many philosophers think that we cannot voluntarily control our beliefs, and, plausibly, ought implies can. How do we make sense of religious doxastic obligations? The papers in this issue present four responses to this puzzle. The first response denies that we have doxastic obligations at all; the second denies that ought implies can. The third and fourth responses maintain that we have either (...)
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