Doxastic responsibility

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 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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