Free belief

Author: Toribio, Josefa

Source: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Volume 2, Number 4, 2003 , pp. 327-336(10)

Publisher: Springer

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The main goal of this paper is to show that Pettit and Smith's (1996) argument concerning the nature of free belief is importantly incomplete. I accept Pettit and Smith's emphasis upon normative constraints governing responsible believing and desiring, and their claim that the responsibly believing agent needs to possess an ability to believe (or desire) otherwise when believing (desiring) wrongly. But I argue that their characterization of these constraints does not do justice to one crucial factor, namely, the presence of an unreflective, sub‐personally constituted, ability to spot the kind of situations in which the reflective critical abilities constitutive of responsible believing (and desiring) should be deployed.

Keywords: belief; critical pop‐out; evidential norms; recognitional capacity; responsibility

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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