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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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The Solution

The Solution

Doxastic Influence and Intellectual Obligations

(p.89) 3 The Solution
Responsible Belief

Rik Peels

Oxford University Press

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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