Second Workshop "Experience Belief and Mental Agency"

Date and hour: 
25.06.2013 - 00:00

 

Second workshop of the Experience, Belief and Mental Agency Research Team (MICINN - FFI2011-26853)

 

Participants: Conor McHugh (Southampton), Susanna Siegel (Harvard), Ernest Sosa (Rutgers)
Invited speaker: Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA)

Date: June 25th, 2013.
Place: Philosophy Seminar. Departament de Lògica, Història i Filosofia de la Ciència, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Filosofia, Montealegre, 6, fouth floor.
Programme:

10:00 – 11:30:
Susanna Siegel (Harvard)
“Wishful Belief”
Wishful belief is a paradigm of epistemically ill-founded belief. But
prima facie, it is mysterious how desires (including preferences,
needs, or goals) could have any impact at all on the formation of
beliefs, or on their rational status. In explicit reasoning, it does not
seem psychologically possible to treat a desire as rationally
supporting a belief, in the same way that we can explicitly treat
evidence as rationally supporting a belief -—even if we are wrong
about the extent of that rational support. Is the influence of desires on
belief always mediated by its influence on how we respond to the
evidence we have? I focus on two other potential forms of influence
on belief by desire, and argue that both can be ill-founding.
11:30 – 12:00 Coffee break
12:00 – 13:30 Ernest Sosa (Rutgers):
“Epistemic Agency and Judgment”
This paper presents and discusses an epistemic category of
distinctive importance to social beings, that of judgment and
judgmental belief. Among the issues to be treated are epistemic
voluntarism and agency, diachronic versus synchronic competence,
and the place of reflection in human knowledge.
13:30 – 15:00: Lunch
15:00 – 16:30: Conor McHugh (Southampton)
“Fitting Belief”
Belief has a standard of correctness. What is the normative
significance of this standard? Philosophers have proposed various
answers to this question. Some have argued that it should be
understood as a prescriptive norm, others that it should be understood
as a value, yet others that it is an aim pursued by believers. An
alternative view is that correctness for belief is not reducible to any
of these things. This view receives support from a picture of
normativity according to which correctness, or fittingness, is a
primitive normative property. In my talk I will explore this view and
its implications for epistemic normativity.
16:30 – 16:45
Coffee break
16:45 – 18:15: Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA)
“The Intuitive Problem of Freedom and Responsibility”
My goal here is to identify the various ways that we come to worry
about whether we are free or whether we are responsible and to
consider whether the worries can be calmed. After examining some
of the standard ways in which the worries arise—starting with the
case of the victim-criminal, moving to cases of direct manipulation,
and finally considering enlightenment science—I will suggest that
the appeal to determinism, or even causation, is a red herring. The
fact that actions must be explicable is enough to raise an intuitive
worry about freedom. I then turn to consider why this might be. I
reject the usual “two-standpoints” account and replace it with what I
think is a much more modest, but still satisfying, story about why we
must act "under the idea of freedom." I then consider whether,
having set aside causation and having explained the difficulty with
explanation, we can rest easy. The answer will be, no. There is a
remaining, rather simple problem, one that arises from what I call the
ordinary notion of control. I end by suggesting that we can address
this problem by giving ourselves an alternative notion of control, one
that will be adequate for a certain sort of responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

Second workshop of the Experience, Belief and Mental Agency Research Team (MICINN - FFI2011-26853)

 

Participants: Conor McHugh (Southampton), Susanna Siegel (Harvard), Ernest Sosa (Rutgers)
Invited speaker: Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA)

Date: June 25th, 2013.
Place: Philosophy Seminar. Departament de Lògica, Història i Filosofia de la Ciència, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Filosofia, Montealegre, 6, fouth floor.
Programme:

10:00 – 11:30: Susanna Siegel (Harvard):  “Wishful Belief”

Wishful belief is a paradigm of epistemically ill-founded belief. But prima facie, it is mysterious how desires (including preferences, needs, or goals) could have any impact at all on the formation of beliefs, or on their rational status. In explicit reasoning, it does not seem psychologically possible to treat a desire as rationally supporting a belief, in the same way that we can explicitly treat evidence as rationally supporting a belief -—even if we are wrong about the extent of that rational support. Is the influence of desires on belief always mediated by its influence on how we respond to the evidence we have? I focus on two other potential forms of influence on belief by desire, and argue that both can be ill-founding.

11:30 – 12:00 Coffee break

12:00 – 13:30 Ernest Sosa (Rutgers) : “Epistemic Agency and Judgment”

This paper presents and discusses an epistemic category of distinctive importance to social beings, that of judgment and judgmental belief. Among the issues to be treated are epistemic voluntarism and agency, diachronic versus synchronic competence, and the place of reflection in human knowledge.

13:30 – 15:00: Lunch

15:00 – 16:30: Conor McHugh (Southampton) : “Fitting Belief”

Belief has a standard of correctness. What is the normative significance of this standard? Philosophers have proposed various answers to this question. Some have argued that it should be understood as a prescriptive norm, others that it should be understood as a value, yet others that it is an aim pursued by believers. An alternative view is that correctness for belief is not reducible to any of these things. This view receives support from a picture of normativity according to which correctness, or fittingness, is a primitive normative property. In my talk I will explore this view and its implications for epistemic normativity.

16:30 – 16:45 Coffee break

16:45 – 18:15: Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA): “The Intuitive Problem of Freedom and Responsibility”

My goal here is to identify the various ways that we come to worry about whether we are free or whether we are responsible and to consider whether the worries can be calmed. After examining some of the standard ways in which the worries arise—starting with the case of the victim-criminal, moving to cases of direct manipulation, and finally considering enlightenment science—I will suggest that the appeal to determinism, or even causation, is a red herring. The fact that actions must be explicable is enough to raise an intuitive worry about freedom. I then turn to consider why this might be. I reject the usual “two-standpoints” account and replace it with what I think is a much more modest, but still satisfying, story about why we must act "under the idea of freedom." I then consider whether, having set aside ausation and having explained the difficulty with explanation, we can rest easy. The answer will be, no. There is a remaining, rather simple problem, one that arises from what I call the ordinary notion of control. I end by suggesting that we can address this problem by giving ourselves an alternative notion of control, one that will be adequate for a certain sort of responsibility.

 

 

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