ABSTRACT

Given that beliefs cannot directly result from decisions or intention, what does this tell us about our being responsible for beliefs? As we have seen, one possibility is that it is a mistake to praise or blame people for the beliefs they hold, or to see them as responsible for those beliefs. If this were the case, then our attributions of responsibility in the doxastic realm, which are common, would all be mistaken. Most theorists, however, do not want to accept the view that there is such widespread error when it comes to common views about beliefs. If one takes it that responsibility entails voluntary control and one agrees that we lack this control, then one would have to deny that we are responsible for our beliefs. If one thinks we can (and ought) to be responsible for our beliefs, and agrees that we lack voluntary control over beliefs, one must conclude that responsibility does not entail voluntary control.