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Free Believers

ContributorsEngel, Pascal
Published inProceedings of the third International Colloquium in Philosophy of Mind, Editors André Leclerc, Giovanni da Silva de Queiroz et Michael B. Wrigley, p. 155-175
Presented at João Pessoa (Brésil), March 2002
Collection
  • Manuscrito; 25 (n° sp.: Mental Causation)
Publication date2002
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 believer 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 cannot be responsible for one's belief.

Keywords
  • Belief
  • Freedom
  • Metaphysics
  • Reflection
  • Responsibility
  • Mcdowell John
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
ENGEL, Pascal. Free Believers. In: Proceedings of the third International Colloquium in Philosophy of Mind. João Pessoa (Brésil). [s.l.] : [s.n.], 2002. p. 155–175. (Manuscrito)
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  • PID : unige:5383
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