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Deciding to believe again

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Abstract

This paper defends direct activism – the view that it is possible to form beliefs in a causally direct way. In particular, it addresses the charge that direct activism entails voluntarism – the thesis that we can form beliefs at will. It distinguishes weak and strong varieties of voluntarism and argues that, while direct activism may entail the weak variety, it does not entail the strong one. The paper goes on to argue that strong voluntarism is non-contingently false, sketching a new argument for that conclusion. This argument does not tell against the weak form of voluntarism, however, and the final part of the paper argues that weak voluntarism, and consequently direct activism, remains a coherent and defensible position.

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