Self–deception and doxastic voluntarism

  • Gustavo Fernández Acevedo Departamento de Filosofía Facultad de Humanidades Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata
Keywords: Self–deception, doxastic voluntarism, conduct, action, beliefs, will


The doctrine known as “doxastic voluntarism”, that is, the idea according to which we can freely adopt our beliefs, has been considered as untenable by most philosophers. Moreover, it is possible to distinguish two versions of this doctrine. The direct doxastic voluntarism corresponding to the latter description; and the indirect doxastic voluntarism, that sustains a more moderate thesis according to which it would be possible to induce certain beliefs in ourselves in an indirect way through the planned modification of our conducts. Bernard Williams, who has presented influential arguments against the direct doxastic voluntarism, has admitted that its indirect variation is possible, but only via self–deception. In this article, different contemporary conceptions of self-deseption are examined, to conclude that under any of these can this phenomenon constitute an efficient means for the indirect voluntary induction of beliefs.

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Author Biography

Gustavo Fernández Acevedo, Departamento de Filosofía Facultad de Humanidades Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata

Doctor en Filosofía y Licenciado en Psicología. Profesor titular de Filosofía de las Ciencias e investigador en la Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Ha publicado artículos sobre sus temas de investigación en Análisis Filosó co, Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, y Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


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How to Cite
Fernández Acevedo, G. (2018). Self–deception and doxastic voluntarism. Estudios De Filosofía, (57), 139-160.
Original or Research articles