The Role of Judgment in Doxastic Agency

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):12-19 (2018)
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We take it that we can exercise doxastic agency by reasoning and by making judgments. We take it, that is, that we can actively make up our minds by reasoning and judging. On what I call the ‘Standard View’ this is so because judgment can yield belief. It is typical to take it that judgments yield beliefs by causing them. But on the resultant understanding of the Standard View, I argue, it is unclear how judgment could play its role in doxastic agency in the way we take it to. I therefore offer an alternative understanding of how judgment yields belief. Drawing on Ryle I argue that when one comes to believe by judging the event which is one's judging is token identical to the event which is one's coming to believe. This paves the way for version of the Standard View capable of explaining how we can actively make up our minds despite that we cannot believe or come to believe at will.

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David Jenkins
King's College London (PhD)


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