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Does Scepticism Presuppose Voluntarism?

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image of International Journal for the Study of Skepticism

Philosophical scepticism is sometimes thought to presuppose doxastic voluntarism, the claim that we are able to believe or disbelieve propositions at will. This is problematic given that doxastic voluntarism itself is a controversial position. I examine two arguments for the view that scepticism presupposes voluntarism. I show that they rely on different versions of a depiction of scepticism as a conversion narrative. I argue that one version of this narrative does presuppose voluntarism, but the other does not. Moreover, alternative versions of the narrative are available. I conclude that scepticism does not presuppose voluntarism.

Affiliations: 1: University of Exeter, United Kingdom,


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