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Exercising doxastic freedom

Exercising doxastic freedom
Exercising doxastic freedom
This paper defends the possibility of doxastic freedom, arguing that doxastic freedom should be modelled not on freedom of action but on freedom of intention. Freedom of action is exercised by agents like us, I argue, through voluntary control. This involves two conditions, intentions-reactivity and reasons-reactivity, that are not met in the case of doxastic states. Freedom of intention is central to our agency and to our moral responsibility, but is not exercised through voluntary control. I develop and defend an account of freedom of intention, arguing that constitutive features of intention ensure that freedom of intention cannot require voluntary control. Then I show that an analogous argument can be applied to doxastic states. I argue that if we had voluntary control of intentions or of doxastic states, this would actually undermine our freedom.
0031-8205
1-37
McHugh, Conor
0b73a7bf-51bf-4883-b62e-f6071f25194d
McHugh, Conor
0b73a7bf-51bf-4883-b62e-f6071f25194d

McHugh, Conor (2014) Exercising doxastic freedom. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 88 (1), 1-37. (doi:10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00531.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper defends the possibility of doxastic freedom, arguing that doxastic freedom should be modelled not on freedom of action but on freedom of intention. Freedom of action is exercised by agents like us, I argue, through voluntary control. This involves two conditions, intentions-reactivity and reasons-reactivity, that are not met in the case of doxastic states. Freedom of intention is central to our agency and to our moral responsibility, but is not exercised through voluntary control. I develop and defend an account of freedom of intention, arguing that constitutive features of intention ensure that freedom of intention cannot require voluntary control. Then I show that an analogous argument can be applied to doxastic states. I argue that if we had voluntary control of intentions or of doxastic states, this would actually undermine our freedom.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 24 October 2011
Published date: January 2014
Organisations: Philosophy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 196341
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/196341
ISSN: 0031-8205
PURE UUID: 1d7047b0-c524-49d1-b703-89160505b3a9

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Date deposited: 06 Sep 2011 13:36
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 23:24

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Author: Conor McHugh

University divisions

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