Ought to Believe

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Abstract / Description of output

This paper presents and motivates a theory of ought-to-believe claims that aims to achieve an attractive middle ground between the extremes of epistemic deontologists and doxastic involuntarists. The key, I argue, is proper appreciation of the fact that not all true ‘ought’s require direct voluntary control. In this theoretical context, others have suggested we reject the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ in the sense of direct voluntary control (Feldman, Kornblith). However, they have not provided a general account of why doxastic ‘ought’s violate this principle. This paper provides this by construing ought-to-believe claims as what have been called “rules of criticism,” which are logically distinct from but also interestingly connected to more familiar “rules of action.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-370
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Philosophy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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