Philosophical Papers

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Believing Badly

Damian Cox, Michael Levine


This paper explores the grounds upon which moral judgment of a person's beliefs is properly made. The beliefs in question are non-moral beliefs and the objects of moral judgment are individual instances of believing. We argue that instances of believing may be morally wrong on any of three distinct grounds: (i) by constituting a moral hazard, (ii) by being the result of immoral inquiry, or (iii) by arising from vicious inner processes of belief formation. On this way of articulating the basis of moral judgment of belief it becomes clear that rational and epistemic norms do not exhaust the kinds of normative judgment properly made of a person's state of believing. We argue that there are instances of believing that are both rational and true and yet morally wrong.

Philosophical Papers Vol.33(3) 2004: 309-328
AJOL African Journals Online