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Permission to believe is not permission to believe at will

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Kieval, Phillip Hintikka  ORCID logo


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pAccording to doxastic involuntarism, we cannot believe at will. In this paper, I argue that permissivism, the view that, at times, there is more than one way to respond rationally to a given body of evidence, is consistent with doxastic involuntarism. Rober (Mind 128(511):837–859, 2019a, Philos Phenom Res 1–17, 2019b) argues that, since permissive situations are possible, cognitively healthy agents can believe at will. However, Roeber (Philos Phenom Res 1–17, 2019b) fails to distinguish between two different arguments for voluntarism, both of which can be shown to fail by proper attention to different accounts of permissivism. Roeber considers a generic treatment of permissivism, but key premises in both arguments depend on different, more particular notions of permissivism. Attending to the distinction between single-agent and inter-subjective versions of permissivism reveals that the inference from permissivism to voluntarism is unwarranted.</jats:p>


Funder: Gates Cambridge Trust; doi:


Original Research, Doxastic agency, Doxastic voluntarism, Involuntarism, Permissivism, Uniqueness

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC