Doxastic Influence and Intellectual Obligations
The assessment of the four attempts to solve the problem of doxastic involuntarism in chapter 2 leaves only one option, namely to explain doxastic responsibility in terms of influence. On this approach, we are doxastically responsible in virtue of our control over states of affairs that make a difference to what we believe rather than over our beliefs themselves: our doxastic mechanisms, our cognitive situatedness, and our intellectual virtues and vices. Chapter 3 provides a defense of this approach by giving an account of what belief-influencing factors we control and what obligations—so-called “intellectual obligations”—we have concerning those belief-influencing factors. It focuses on epistemic intellectual obligations and gives an account of many of them in terms of doxastic discrepancy. Finally, three important excuses for belief are introduced: force, ignorance, and luck, and it is explained why any analysis of responsible belief needs to take them into account.
Keywords: belief-influencing factor, cognitive situatedness, doxastic discrepancy, excuse, influence, doxastic mechanism, epistemic obligation, intellectual obligation, intellectual vice, intellectual virtue
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