Philosophical Studies

, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 559–582

The Analogy Argument for Doxastic Voluntarism


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-004-7489-7

Cite this article as:
Nottelmann, N. Philos Stud (2006) 131: 559. doi:10.1007/s11098-004-7489-7


An influential version of doxastic voluntarism claims that doxastic events such as belief-formations at least sometimes qualify as actions. William Alston has made a simple response to this claim by arguing on empirical grounds that in normal human agents intentions to form specific beliefs are simply powerless. However, despite Alston’s observation, various authors have insisted that belief-formations may qualify as voluntary in perfect analogy to certain types of actions or even to actions in general. I examine three analogy arguments of this type and argue that they all fail.

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media, Cognition, and Communication, Division of PhilosophyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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