In Search of Doxastic Involuntarism

Philosophical Studies 179 (2):615-631 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.

Author's Profile

Matthew Vermaire
University of Glasgow


Added to PP

700 (#23,204)

6 months
194 (#15,553)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?