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Responsible BeliefA Theory in Ethics and Epistemology$
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Rik Peels

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190608118

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190608118.001.0001

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Why Responsible Belief Matters

(p.1) Introduction
Responsible Belief

Rik Peels

Oxford University Press

This Introduction explains the purpose of the book: giving an analysis of responsible belief. It provides several examples of cases in which people fail to believe responsibly, such as that of the terrorist attacks by Islamic fundamentalists in Paris. An account of responsible belief is needed for three reasons. First, we are responsible for our beliefs but it seems we cannot control them. Second, the notion of blameworthy belief plays a crucial role in the law, but little is said in jurisprudence about what blameworthy and responsible belief amount to. Third, an account of responsible belief can help us to maintain or change social practices of holding each other doxastically responsible. Finally, it is briefly explained what is new about the account of responsible belief in this book: it is expressed in terms of influence rather than control and it focuses on excuses for belief.

Keywords:   blameworthy belief, doxastic responsibility, excuse, fundamentalism, influence, jurisprudence, responsible belief, social practice

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