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How would you answer this question: Can dispositional analyses of belief account for first-person authority?


Rathgeb, Nicole (2022). How would you answer this question: Can dispositional analyses of belief account for first-person authority? Philosophical Explorations, 25(2):204-219.

Abstract

In the last decade, various analyses of beliefs in terms of dispositions have been advanced. One principled objection against dispositional accounts of belief is that they cannot accommodate first-person authority. While people can infallibly state their beliefs without the need for any kind of evidence, their assertions about their dispositions are fallible and in need of evidential support. Hence, the argument goes, beliefs are not the same thing as dispositions. In this paper, I defend a linguistic version of dispositionalism against this objection, namely the thesis that the belief that p is the disposition to answer the question whether p in the affirmative. I offer a detailed account of first-person authority with regard to belief, and argue that linguistic dispositionalism can account for first-person authority. Further, I discuss the appeal of dispositionalism, argue that it is a mistake to understand first-person authority primarily as a matter of privileged (epistemic) access, and explain the importance of the distinction between self-ascriptions and manifestations of beliefs and dispositions.

Abstract

In the last decade, various analyses of beliefs in terms of dispositions have been advanced. One principled objection against dispositional accounts of belief is that they cannot accommodate first-person authority. While people can infallibly state their beliefs without the need for any kind of evidence, their assertions about their dispositions are fallible and in need of evidential support. Hence, the argument goes, beliefs are not the same thing as dispositions. In this paper, I defend a linguistic version of dispositionalism against this objection, namely the thesis that the belief that p is the disposition to answer the question whether p in the affirmative. I offer a detailed account of first-person authority with regard to belief, and argue that linguistic dispositionalism can account for first-person authority. Further, I discuss the appeal of dispositionalism, argue that it is a mistake to understand first-person authority primarily as a matter of privileged (epistemic) access, and explain the importance of the distinction between self-ascriptions and manifestations of beliefs and dispositions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords:Philosophy, dispositions, beliefs, first-person authority, criteria, self-knowledge
Language:English
Date:17 February 2022
Deposited On:17 Sep 2023 12:44
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:39
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1386-9795
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13869795.2022.2033818