Doxastic responsibility

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Doxastic responsibility matters, morally and epistemologically. Morally, because many of our intuitive ascriptions of blame seem to track back to agents' apparent responsibility for beliefs; epistemologically because some philosophers identify epistemic justification with deontological permissibility. But there is a powerful argument which seems to show that we are rarely or never responsible for our beliefs, because we cannot control them. I examine various possible responses to this argument, which aim to show either that doxastic responsibility does not require that we control our beliefs, or that as a matter of fact we do exercise the right kind of control over our beliefs. I argue that the existing arguments are all wanting: in fact, our lack of control over our beliefs typically excuses us of responsibility for them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-155
Number of pages29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

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