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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 44, 2019

Stephen J. White
Pages 33-51

Against Voluntarism about Doxastic Responsibility

According to the view Rik Peels defends in Responsible Belief (2017), one is responsible for believing something only if that belief was the result of choices one made voluntarily, and for which one may be held responsible. Here, I argue against this voluntarist account of doxastic responsibility and in favor of the rationalist position that a person is responsible for her beliefs insofar as they are under the influence of her reason. In particular, I argue that the latter yields a more plausible account of the conditions under which ignorance may serve as an excuse for wrongdoing.

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