The ethics of belief: Doxastic self-control and intellectual virtue

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Most of the literature on doxastic voluntarism has concentrated on the question of the voluntariness of belief and the issue of how our actual or possible control of our beliefs bears on our justification for holding them and on how, in the light of this control, our intellectual character should be assessed. This paper largely concerns a related question on which less philosophical work has been done: the voluntariness of the grounding of belief and the bearing of various views about this matter on justification, knowledge, and intellectual virtue. In part, my concern is the nature and extent of our voluntary control over our responses to reasons for believing—or over what we take to be such reasons. This paper provides a partial account of such control and, on the basis of the account, will clarify the criteria for appraising intellectual virtue.

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