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Philosophy colloquium with Heather Phillips, November 17

Heather Phillips from Illinois State University will speak for a colloquium titled “Meaningful Control of Belief Via Doxastic Deliberation.”

The colloquium is hosted by Illinois State’s Department of Philosophy.

When: 5 p.m. Thursday, November 17
Where: 401A Stevenson Hall

Here is what Phillips will discuss:

Doxastic control, like skepticism, becomes a concern only once one enters a philosophy classroom. Most non-philosophers go about their daily lives undisturbed by worries of being brains in vats or not having control of their beliefs. In both cases, this is because the opposite seems so obviously true from the point of view of how we experience life. Of course, what seems true and what can be proven true are two very different things. In the case of doxastic control, much of the difficulty stems from the narrow focus within the debate on forms of control I contend are neither important nor possible. Rather, if a lack of doxastic control concerns us at all, it does so primarily because of the disconnect this lack of control creates between our beliefs and ourselves. At-will control of the kinds typically discussed might (if possible) be able to restore this connection, but neither is necessary to do so. What is necessary is meaningful control, and my aim is to demonstrate that doxastic deliberation is one means by which we can exercise such control.