Exercising Doxastic Freedom
Article first published online: 24 OCT 2011
© 2011 Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, LLC
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
How to Cite
MCHUGH, C. (2011), Exercising Doxastic Freedom. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00531.x
- Article first published online: 24 OCT 2011
This paper defends the possibility of doxastic freedom, arguing that doxastic freedom should be modelled not on freedom of action but on freedom of intention. Freedom of action is exercised by agents like us, I argue, through voluntary control. This involves two conditions, intentions-reactivity and reasons-reactivity, that are not met in the case of doxastic states. Freedom of intention is central to our agency and to our moral responsibility, but is not exercised through voluntary control. I develop and defend an account of freedom of intention, arguing that constitutive features of intention ensure that freedom of intention cannot require voluntary control. Then I show that an analogous argument can be applied to doxastic states. I argue that if we had voluntary control of intentions or of doxastic states, this would actually undermine our freedom.