Event Detail

Thu Dec 18, 2014
Howison Library, 4–6 PM
Graduate Research Colloquium
Lindsay Crawford (UC Berkeley)
Ought, Belief, and Control

A familiar and widely accepted principle holds that an agent can be obligated to ϕ only if she has the ability to ϕ. Call this principle ‘Ought-Can.’ How might we understand the ability constraint on obligation that Ought-Can expresses in the epistemic domain, as applied specifically to doxastic attitudes? I argue that we should reject Ought-Can as it appears (in a number of guises) in the epistemic domain. I suggest that, instead, we can understand the epistemic Ought-Can (and so account for at least some of Ought-Can’s appeal) as a kind of pragmatic constraint on our ability to offer judgments about what other agents ought to believe to those agents.