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Free believers

Abstract : Is there such a thing as free belief? This paper is not about free expression of belief or free speech. It is about freedom of belief as a mental state. In the sense in which the beliviers would be the cause of his or her own belief, and could believe at will, it is, for well-known reasons, impossible. Some writers, however, like McDowell, have argued, in a Kantian spirit, that obeying the norms of thought and setting oneself as a member of the "space of reasons" could provide the appropriate notion of free belief. Their account is based on the idea that a reflexive believer is automatically a free believer. I argue that this is wrong. There is no appropriate notion of free belief in this sense, although this does not show that one canno be responsible for one's belief.
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https://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_00000252
Contributor : Pascal Engel <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 1, 2002 - 5:28:44 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 11:46:08 AM

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Pascal Engel. Free believers. 2002. ⟨ijn_00000252⟩

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